Release Day Blitz – Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey

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Title: NINE KINDS OF NAUGHTY

Author: Jeanette Grey

Series: Art of Passion, #3

On Sale: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $12.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK

Lexie Bellamy can handle a boardroom. Relationships, however, are a minefield that always blow up. When a business trip takes her to Spain, Lexie knows she’ll have no problem closing the deal. But spending uninterrupted one-on-one time with her crazy-hot coworker might be more than she can take.

At the office, Lexie gets to call the shots. But this trip is the perfect opportunity for Dane Huntley to show his gorgeous boss how good it can feel when someone else takes charge…

Miles away from home, giving in to Dane’s naughty commands feels so easy. But when the trip is over, Lexie’s determined to go back to their professional relationship. Dane, though, has other ideas. He’ll have to prove that what they’ve found together is real… and he has no intention of letting go.

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EXCERPT:

When they arrived at whatever bar had been next on the list, Lexie pulled out a stool at one of the high-tops they managed to commandeer with a groan. Dane stepped into the space beside her while the rest of the guys filled in around them.

He hadn’t exactly stayed glued to her side all night, but he’d never been far away. Still, this was the closest he’d stood since they’d first arrived. All her reasons for keeping him at a distance had seemed so important at the beginning of the night, but with every hour that passed, it became less and less of a concern.

She’d already let loose more than she usually did. How much worse would it really be to lean into him a little? Tip her head until it rested against the broad strength of his chest or bury her nose against his throat and drink the woodsy maleness of his scent?

A lot. It would be a lot worse.

Fighting the temptation, she plunked her elbows on the table and dropped her head into her hands.

Dane’s warm chuckle brushed the back of her neck like a caress. “You holding up all right, Ms. Bellamy?”

“Lexie,” she insisted, the word muffled by her hands. Slurred. “And I’m fine.” Flexing her feet, she shifted her head, twisting her neck to the side so she could slot open her eyes and look at him. “If I’d known we’d be walking between bars, I’d have changed out of these heels, though.”

“Well, that would be a pity.”

His gaze flashed dark, and for half a second, she was back on the plane, stripped down to her bra and panties, Dane standing over her and growling at her not to take off her shoes.

She gave a full-body shudder. “Sadist.”

“Sometimes. Yes.”

Oh, hell.

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THE ART OF PASSION SERIES

SEVEN NIGHTS TO SURRENDER, #1

EIGHT WAYS TO ECSTASY, #2

NINE KINDS OF NAUGHTY, #3

art-of-passion

Series Page on Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanette Grey started out with degrees in physics and painting, which she dutifully applied to stunted careers in teaching, technical support, and advertising. When she isn’t writing, Jeanette enjoys making pottery, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and her pet frog. She lives, loves, and writes in upstate New York.

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Release Day Blitz – Exposed by Rhonda Blitz

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EXPOSED by Rhonda Pollero

February 7, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99

Finding Justice Book 1

First comes love, then comes fear . . .

After a whirlwind romance, Darby Hayes Grisom married the man of her dreams. Smart, handsome, ambitious-Sean was everything she always thought she wanted. Little did she know that one year later that dream would turn into her worst nightmare. Sean is moody, angry, violent. Violent enough to kill. When Darby realizes she’s pregnant she knows Sean will never let her go.

Attorney Jack Kavanaugh is the only person Darby can trust to help her with her plan to save herself and her baby. But the deeper Jack gets involved in protecting Darby, the deeper the feelings between them become. A complication Darby can’t afford-because her husband is watching their every move and he’ll do anything to get her-and their baby-back.

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EXCERPT:

“Let’s step into the hallway,” Sean suggested, placing his arm around the shoulder of the officer, guiding him out of the room.

Darby slammed her head against the pillow and again hot tears welled in her eyes. Grabbing the call button, she pressed it over and over until a petite and clearly irritated nurse entered the room. In the split second the curtain was drawn back, Darby saw Sean and the sergeant sharing a handshake.

“Yes?” the nurse asked as she gave cursory glances to the machines tethering Darby to the bed.

“I need a phone.”

“We don’t allow telephones in the rooms. Is there someone I can call for you?”

“Yes. I need the police.”

The nurse blinked, then peered back over her shoulder as she pushed apart the curtain. “Officer?”

“Not him,” Darby cried. Too late.

Sean and the officer returned. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the sergeant was totally charmed by Sean. The sergeant took up a position at the end of her bed next to the nurse while Sean moved to the head and draped his arm around her shoulders. “I was just explaining your condition to the policeman.” His fingers dug into the flesh at her shoulder.

Ciminelli smiled understandingly. “I’ve got three kids myself. My wife went a little hormonal with each one. She had all sorts of weird thoughts and cravings. Got so I was afraid to walk in the door after my shift. Never knew what was going to set her off.”

“Darby’s normally very rational,” Sean said, brushing a kiss to her temple. “Don’t you have something to say to the officer, sweetheart?”

Darby pressed her lips tight.

Sean squeezed her shoulder harder. “Darby, the officer checked. He spoke directly with Roxanne.”

“Roxanne would lie for you,” she whispered under her breath.

Sean sighed heavily. “Sweetheart, I thought you might still be…confused, so I made sure the officer called the airline to verify that I was on the flight. The hotel verified that I checked in and even told the officer what I ordered from room service and when it was delivered. The investor I was meeting as well as the restaurant staff verified that I attended the meeting. So, don’t you think it’s time for you to apologize to the officer for making extra work for him?”

Darby had no idea how he had managed it, but he had. Now she looked like the crazy one. And worse yet, she was at Sean’s mercy, which was a terrifying thought. What would happen once they were alone? She shivered just thinking about the potential punishment for calling him a murderer in public. She had that trapped animal feeling again and she couldn’t stop crying. No one believed her but she didn’t know how he’d pulled it off; she just knew he had. Just as she knew the officer wasn’t going to believe a word she said. Darby felt defeated. She gave up. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t give it a thought, Mrs. Grisom. I know it was just the grief and the hormones talking. I gave your husband everything you’ll need to make the, um, final arrangements for your parents.”

“Thank you.”

The nurse followed Ciminelli out of the room. Darby braced herself, fully expecting to suffer the wrath of Sean. Instead, he was just looking at her as he arranged the hair framing her face.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. I always liked your parents,” he whispered against her ear.

“Ummmm.”

Then calmly and quietly he added, “If you hadn’t called them, I never would have been forced to kill them.”

exposed_quotegraphic1

About the Author

After selling her first romantic suspense in 1993, Rhonda Pollero has penned more than 30 novels, won numerous awards and nominations, and landed on multiple bestseller lists, including USA Today, Bookscan, and Ingram’s Top 50 List.  She lives in south Florida with her family.

 

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Guest Post/Blog Tour – The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Lemmon

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Top 5 Ways To Frustrate An Alpha Billionaire Bad Boy

 In my new release The Billionaire Bachelor, our hero Tag Crane is having one heck of a time getting heroine Rachel Foster to comply. His tried-and-true tricks simply don’t *quite* break down this particular woman’s defenses. Which means Tag shrugs and wanders off to find a new woman to tempt, right…?

WRONG!

You know when an alpha guy finds The One, even if he doesn’t know she’s it for him yet, he digs in and tries, tries, and tries again. Which brings me to the Top 5 ways to frustrate an alpha!

Many of these Rachel does without even trying…

.5. Don’t let him pay your way. Alphas, especially rich ones, love to lavish gifts upon the object of their affection. If you want to frustrate him right down to his expensive shoes, insist on buying your own dinner. In Tag’s case, he won this battle, but it didn’t stop Rachel from arguing. Points: 1

.4. Insist on working. Tag invites Rachel to Hawaii under the guise of consulting on his latest bar upgrade for a Crane hotel on Oahu. But when he gets her there he decides he’d rather play than work… Rachel makes sure she puts in her hours whether he likes it or not. Points: 2… but -1 because she definitely makes time for play!

.3. Resist his advances. Playboy Tag Crane knows his way around a woman—and how to woo one. But whenever his cocky charm makes itself known, Rachel is sure to laugh it off. At one point, she lies and blurts, “I’m not the least bit attracted to… what you have going on.” Points: 3. Well played!

.2. Don’t react the way he expects. When Rachel opens her front door one evening to find Tag standing outside of it, he lays a long, delicious kiss on her lips. When she doesn’t respond by climbing him like a cat on a curtain, Tag is completely confused. He even thinks to himself “SURELY, she liked it?” Throwing him off-kilter comes naturally to our wily heroine. Points: 5

.1. Don’t spell things out for him. Alphas think simply. In The Billionaire Next Door, Rachel uses the phrase “Me-Tarzan, You-Jane” to describe his techniques. The best way to frustrate an alpha? Keep him guessing… You won’t only frustrate him, you’ll fascinate him. And once he’s fallen head over money clip, he’ll come running and fight to win you. Points: 10.

 

Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-
until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever . . .

 

THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
Billionaire Bad Boys #2
Jessica Lemmon
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Forever
Can’t Buy Me Love
 
It’s Tag Crane’s job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn’t perfect.
Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he’s ever seen.
Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It’s not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it’s a fantasy come true. What’s the harm in a fun
no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with
forever . . 
 
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Excerpt:

“This is so much colder than a cab,” Rachel said through chattering teeth. The bar was probably fifteen blocks from the apartment. What was she thinking agreeing to walk? She couldn’t feel her nose.

“But cleaner,” Tag said. She was currently taking two steps for every one of his, given his gait was longer than hers, even at a leisurely pace.

“I do better when it’s a nice, even seventy degrees.” She buried her chin in her scarf as she watched her boots cut through the gathering snow. “I guess it’ll be a few more months until we see milder temps.”

God. She was hopeless. Walking down the sidewalk next to a gorgeous guy and talking about the weather. But Tag didn’t balk.

“I like extremes,” he said, as if this was perfectly acceptable conversation. “If it’s hot, I like it really hot. If it’s cold, there’d better be snow or it’s a waste. I like the ocean because you can’t see the end of it. If I’m in a forest, I prefer one filled with massive sequoias.”

“Because you can relate to them,” she teased. “Giant.”

He turned his head and smiled and she admired straight, white teeth surrounded by a golden brown beard. He’d pulled his hair down and the light brown waves fell haphazardly over his black coat. Which was so sexy she couldn’t think. Especially since there were snowflakes in the strands. Not that she could blame them. Nestled warmly in those locks wasn’t a bad place to imagine being.

Again, she wondered at her attraction to him. Though he did kind of look like Thor, and while she wasn’t a die-hard comic book fan, she could appreciate the actor in the movie.

“How tall are you?” she asked, mostly to stop her inane train of thought. The more she was around him, the less she understood her basal reaction to him.

“Just under six-six. You’re what? Five-five?”

“Yeah. How’d you do that?”

He shrugged and looked ahead, but she didn’t doubt how he’d done it. He’d likely honed his carnival skills and was stellar at guessing weight and height. It wasn’t hard to imagine him using his intuition to figure out a woman’s weak points so he could attack where she was most sensitive. He’d probably had a ton of practice.

Was that where her concern was coming from? That he’d find her weak spots and use them against her? That’s what Shaun had done, she thought with a token amount of bitterness.

“How’d I do what?” A puff of air came from his lips, buried in his beard. She’d never liked facial hair. Until now, apparently.

“How’d you guess my height?” she shot back, feeling peeved more with herself than him. Lack of sleep, or maybe too much, she wasn’t really sure what to blame her reaction on now. “How’d you know I was a businesswoman before? I’m a great bartender, by the way. I was a bartender for longer than I worked in marketing.” She pushed her hands deeper into her pockets, lamenting not bringing her gloves with her. Her hands were freezing.

“Just observant. I’m good with people,” he said.

She absorbed that for a few seconds.

“What exactly do you do in Guest and Restaurant Services?” She air-quoted those words, which brought her bare hands from her pockets. He noticed.

“Where are your gloves? Do you realize it’s February in Chicago?”

“I forgot them.”

Tag stopped walking, a deep sigh working its way from his wide chest as he tugged off his gloves.

“I’m fine.” But he wasn’t listening. Once he’d had his baseball-mitt sized gloves off, he lifted her smaller, freezing hands to his mouth, cupping them in his palms, and blew on them to warm her fingers. He did this the way he did everything else.

Slowly.

Intentionally.

And looking right at her.

He brushed his lips over her knuckles as a drove of chills shot down her spine and legs. She became fascinated by how soft his beard felt against her freezing skin, and then those chills were replaced with heat. Pooling in her belly, between her thighs, and infusing her face with color.

“Thanks,” she muttered when he let her go. She stuffed her hands into his gloves—they were warm, and after his personal attention, so was she. They finished their walk to Crane Tower, and once they were in the lobby, she put that together with Crane Hotels. “You’re pretty brand loyal aren’t you?”

“Honey, you have no idea.”

 

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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Blog Tour – Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason

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Title: MISTLETOE COTTAGE

Author: Debbie Mason

Series: Harmony Harbor, #1

On Sale: October 25, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $5.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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The first novel in a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason! The series will appeal to fans of feel-good romances by New York Times bestselling authors Brenda Novak, Robyn Carr, and RaeAnne Thayne.

‘Tis the season for love…

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes—and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone…especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic… 

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EXCERPT:

The door to the bathroom opened. Liam lowered his razor to smile at Mia and Sophie.

Sophie slammed the door in his face. “You stay right where you are,” she ordered him from the other side. “Mia baby, let’s go check out your bedroom.”

He heard the sound of their retreating footsteps and shrugged. He wasn’t sure what the problem was. He’d just lifted the razor to his chin when the door reopened and Sophie stepped inside, closing it behind her. Her eyes flitted over him, then she raised her gaze to meet his, a faint blush coloring her cheeks. He grinned at her reaction. At least he wasn’t the only one feeling the attraction.

She glared at him. “If you wanted to give me a welcome-to-the-apartment present, flowers or a plant would have been a better idea than . . . than this.” Her hand fluttered between them.

“You think I’m your welcome-to-the-apartment present?” he said, unable to keep the amusement from his voice.

“It’s not funny, Liam. I have an impressionable daughter. You can’t just show up at my apartment half naked, expecting to—”

He put the razor down and turned to her, crossing his arms. “Think what?”

“Don’t do that. It won’t work,” she said, her eyes landing somewhere between his chest and the towel.

“Soph, you’ve lost me. I don’t have a clue—”

“Please, as if you don’t know how sexy you look right now standing there all naked and wet with your muscles on display.”

He looked down at himself then raised his gaze to hers while holding back a full-out grin as it hit him what was going on. He didn’t plan to enlighten her just yet. He was having too much fun. “You forgot my impressive abs.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Where are your clothes? You need to get dressed and . . . What are you doing?” she asked as he closed the distance between.

Her palms landed on his chest when he crowded her against the door. “I just thought, since I went to all this trouble to surprise you, you could at least give me a kiss.”

“No, Mia is in the next room.” She stared at his mouth. “And even if I wanted to kiss you, you have shaving cream on your face.”

“Admit it. You like your present. And you really, really want to kiss me.”

The corner of her mouth lifted as her hands inched their way up his chest and around his neck. She leaned into him. “Yes, I like my present. But I’d like it a whole lot more if Mia wasn’t with me. And I might want to kiss you a little.”

“A lot,” he said and cupped her face in his hands, lowering his mouth to hers. He wanted to linger, to explore her sweet mouth with a deep, consuming kiss. Instead, because Mia was down the hall, he went with soft and tender and long enough that she’d feel how much he wanted her.

He pulled back. Her face was tipped up, her eyes closed. He smiled at the shaving cream covering the lower half of her face and slowly trailed his finger through it to draw a foamy line of white down her neck. With her eyes still closed, she leaned back against the door, a small hum of pleasure escaping from between her parted lips. He ducked his head and whispered. “You like that, don’t you?”

She opened her heavy-lidded eyes and nodded, watching him as he dipped his fingers beneath the V of her caramel-colored sweater.

He felt her shiver beneath his fingers and moved her hair off her shoulders with his other hand before rubbing his cheek against hers. He’d never look at shaving cream the same way. He wanted to cover every inch of her . . .

A knock sounded on the door.  She shoved him away. Her eyes wide and glazed, she wiped frantically at her face. “Be right there, baby.”

Liam grimaced. He’d gotten so carried away he’d forgotten about Mia. “Sorry, Soph. Give me a sec, and I’ll get some clothes on.” He turned to open the door leading into his apartment.

“You have got to be kidding me,” she said.

Liam glanced over his shoulder. “Nope, your apartment shares a bathroom with mine. Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said with a wink.

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THE HARMONY HARBOR SERIES

harmony-harbor

 

MISTLETOE COTTAGE, #1

CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL, #1.5

STARLIGHT BRIDGE, #2

PRIMROSE LANE, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 debbie-mason-credit-debbie-mazzura

Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.

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Blog Tour – Run To You by Rachel Lacey

ONE LITTLE LIE. A WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE.

 

RUN TO YOU
Risking it All #1
Rachel Lacey
Releasing Aug 30th, 2016
Forever

ONE LITTLE LIE. A WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE.

Moments after meeting the most gorgeous guy ever, Gabby Winters promptly gets stung by a zillion yellow jackets and falls-not gracefully-into a stream. Yup, Ethan Hunter is trouble with a capital “hot,” and Gabby definitely needs to keep her distance. Except in the small town of Haven, there’s nowhere to hide from Ethan’s sexy, infectious grin . . . and all the residents are conspiring against her.

At the center of the town’s matchmaking is Ethan’s grandmother, who’s convinced their relationship is a done deal. Rather than break her heart, Gabby and Ethan find themselves cornered into pretending to be falling in love. The problem: there’s serious sizzling attraction between them. And if this charade continues, they won’t fool just the entire town – they might fool themselves too . . .

 
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Excerpt:

 

“I’m glad you brought me out here.” Gabby stepped over a tree root, lifting her skirt with her free hand so that she didn’t trip

Ethan squeezed her left hand. “Me, too. The rock face is right up this way.

They came around a corner and the path opened up to a big rock looming at least thirty feet into the air. There were some creases and cracks in it, but how anyone could scale it with only their bare hands—or why they would want to—was completely beyond her. “You can seriously climb that?”

“I can climb it. Ryan can kick its ass, though.”

“Okay then. Show me.”

With a cocky grin, he reached up and hooked his hand into a crack in the rock. He pulled himself up, his biceps flexing most impressively as he climbed. Holy shit, that was sexy. Soon she was left with nothing but a view of his very fine ass. And by the time he’d reached the top, she was so turned on, she could hardly stand it.

“So?” he called from the top. “You going to join me or what?”

“Not a chance. But I will enjoy watching you climb back down.”

“Gotta give the lady what she wants.” His fine ass reappeared over the edge as he started back down. He took his time on the descent, and if she wasn’t mistaken, he might have reached for a few hand and footholds that made him flex his muscles a little more than was strictly necessary.

“You’re a show-off,” she said when his feet were back on solid ground.

He was a bit out of breath, his bronzed skin glistening with sweat, trademark smile still in place. “No clue what you’re talking about.”

“No? You really needed to reach all the way to that notch?” She gestured above them. “Instead of the one closer to your shoulder that maybe wouldn’t have shown off your lovely biceps quite as well?”

He flexed for her. “What, these old things? And for the record, I totally needed the leverage.”

“Mm-hmm.” For some reason, she put her hand on his biceps, and oh crap, that was a mistake. His skin was hot beneath her fingers, and his blue eyes blazed into hers.

“Killing me, Gabby,” he murmured. “Killing me.”

His words sent a bolt of red-hot desire right through her, and she must have made a sound because Ethan sucked in a breath, his gaze locked on her lips. His hands settled on her hips, burning into her skin through the thin fabric of her skirt.

 

Don’t miss ROCK WITH YOU, 
a Risking it All Novella


Rachel Lacey is a contemporary
romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey
on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped
out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These
days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes.
She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety
of rescue pets.

 

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Blog Tour – Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

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Title: FURIOUS RUSH

Author: S.C. Stephens

On Sale: August 23, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $12.99 USD

eBook: $4.99 USD

Audio: $22.98 USD

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The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…

 

 

Tour Titles 6

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Tour Titles 1

“Do you have any idea who this guy is, and why the hell he’s on our track?”

Myles tilted his head as he thought. “Don’t know, but if he’s on the track before noon, your dad must have hired him. The Bennetis know not to break that rule. Not after what happened last time.”

The last time a Benneti stepped foot on our track before they were allowed to, that Benneti had found himself duct-taped to the flagpole in the middle of the track. Naked. Of course, the Benneti team had gotten us back by breaking all the windows in the garage doors. They were still boarded over, since we couldn’t afford to fix them yet. For the sake of our bank account, Dad had ordered every Cox racer not to continue the paybacks, no matter how warranted they were.

Ignoring Myles’s chuckle, I renewed my inspection of the racer. The new rider was fast, and ridiculously good—his setup on the corners was perfectly timed, and he kept his body low, hanging off the bike so that nothing was over the center line but his outside arm and leg; his “triangle of daylight”—the space between his inside knee and the bike—was so beautiful that Dad would probably photograph it and hang it on his office wall. Considering the furious competition at the professional level—races were won or lost by mere seconds—and considering how much time, energy, and resources were spent on training new riders, I wasn’t too surprised this guy was top-notch. With the upcoming racing season so close, any person Dad brought onto our team would be impressive. Dad wouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing; he couldn’t afford to. Yet another reason I was feeling a profound pressure to perform. There was no free ride for Jordan Cox’s daughter; I had to earn my place, same as everyone else.

When number 43 finally finished his set and slowed to exit the track, Myles let out a low whistle. “Not bad. He reminds me of you.” Frowning, I peeked up at him. His dark eyes sparkled with amusement. “No guts, no glory, balls-to-the-wall racing, like you have something to prove every time you go out there.” He raised a dark eyebrow at me, but I remained silent. Having to prove myself was a daily occurrence, and Myles knew that.

The rider exited the track at the same place where we were standing with our bikes. He slowed to a stop directly in front of us, shut off his motorcycle, and removed his helmet. My jaw dropped to my chest, and my eyes bugged out of my skull. No. It was not possible. But the long-dulled desires starting to tingle back to life at just the sight of him told me it was possible. The man who was proudly wearing the number 43 was the same drop-dead-gorgeous man who’d won the street race early this morning. What the hell was he doing here—on my turf—looking for all the world like he belonged?

In the bright sunshine, I could see that his eyes were actually a light shade of green. There was a devious glint in them that silently promised that every day with him would be even more intriguing than the last. Add that to his dirty-blond hair, rugged jawline, perfect bone structure, athletic build, and perfectly full lips that hinted at a treasure trove of untold pleasures, and you got a man who attracted a lot of attention everywhere he went—as I’d witnessed last night by the swarm of groupies surrounding him while he’d been illegally racing.

No way. There was no way Dad had hired this guy!

Hopping off his bike, the stranger ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair. The shaggy strands were sticking up every which way now, and the chaotic hairstyle was too damn appealing. A small groan slipped from me in my shock. Get it together, Kenzie.

His emerald eyes swung my way, taking me in, and I held my breath and stood a little straighter. Did he recognize me like I recognized him? Did I want him to? Damn it . . . what was his name again? And why the hell did he have to have such incredible eyes? Green with flecks of gold, penetrating and intense, like when he was looking at you—truly looking at you—nothing else around him mattered. I could easily picture him studying the track with that unrelenting gaze. I could also picture him studying my curves with that superheated stare. Goddammit, no. This couldn’t seriously be happening.

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Tour Titles 7S.C. Stephens CREDIT Tara Ellis Photography

S.C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

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Spotlight Tour – Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman

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We are so delighted to feature M.L. Buchman on our blog today and he is sharing with us some of his favorite sequels.  Thank you so much for joining us today M.L.!  We are honored and thrilled to have you!

The first book in my new Delta Force #1, Target Engaged was called “His best yet” by Booklist andwas also named a finalist for RWA’s prestigious RITA award.

Well, my answer to that is Heart Strike, releasing August 3rd, 2016. But it got me thinking. What are my favorite sequels? For a change-up, I focused on the action side rather than the romance, and here’s what I came up with.

  1. The Color of Money

Paul Newman and a very young Tom Cruise in The Color of Money. The original Jackie Gleason and a very young Paul Newman The Hustler was a master work of a tight psychological drama. They upped the stakes and made it utterly captivating in the highly energetic sequel.

  1. Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne #2 & #3 didn’t disappoint…for a single second. They sustained the tension, remained true to the character (an essential), and found ways to ratchet the tension higher in each successive one. Number 4? Not so much.

  1. The Wrath of Khan

The Wrath of Khan notoriously took one of the most disappointing movie launches ever, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and created a massive and incredible franchise that has continued ever since. Khan is still one of the great, over-the-top, out-of-control villains.

  1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Sometimes a great sequel comes third rather than second. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadepitted Harrison Ford against Sean Connery in gloriously foolish father-son mayhem that completely honored the first film.

  1. The Dark Knight Rises

This choice surprises me. I like the Dark Knight reboot, but I’m not a big fan of the comic book heroes in general and frequently skip them. It took me a couple of years to catch up with this one and what I love about it isn’t the acting (which was wonderful), or the action (which was dramatic). It was the story. The writer and director completely set us up to thinking this story was going one direction…then in the last half hour it went another way entirely. AND that twist was perfectly in character, just wholly unexpected.

Now, I write romantic suspense, so the ending is fairly predictable, but I certainly hope that you enjoy the journey of my latest Delta Force novel, number 2, Heart Strike!

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 Title: Heart Strike

Series: Delta Force, #2

Author: M.L. Buchman

Pubdate: August 2nd 2016

ISBN: 9781492619253

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SERGEANT RICHIE “Q” GOLDMAN: The smartest soldier on any team

SERGEANT MELISSA “THE CAT” MOORE: Newest on the team, determined to be the best

Rescued from an icy mountaintop by a Delta operative, Melissa Moore has never met a challenge she can’t conquer. Not only she will make Delta Force, she will be the best female warrior in The Unit, and woe to anyone who says otherwise. Technical wizard Richie Goldman is Bond’s “Q” turned warrior. A genius about everything except women, he takes point on the team’s most dangerous mission yet. When the Delta Force team goes undercover in the depths of the Colombian jungle, surviving attacks from every side requires that Richie and Melissa strike right at the heart of the matter…and come out with their own hearts intact.

 

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Action sequels, even romantic suspense ones, only have a short moment of introduction before it’s time to get everyone moving…and moving fast! Delta Force #2, Heart Strike, opens with the team from Delta #1, Target Engaged, mapping coca fields in Boliva. They’re targeting them for massive defoliant drops from the CIA’s 747 tanker plane.

Trouble comes when command issues an order for the team to pull out ahead of schedule to pick up a new team member and a new assignment.

Thankfully, no one anywhere adapts faster to a changing situation than a team of Delta Force operators.

Sunrise was less than an hour off when Chad jostled his shoulder.

Richie hadn’t been asleep and barely managed to suppress an oath as Chad shook him hard enough to wake the dead—his idea of humor. Richie noticed that he was a little more cautious with Duane who often woke with his knife half-drawn. Kyle and Carla were already at the hut’s entrance.

Kyle had taken one look at the order and, in minutes, outlined a plan of how they were going to exit the farm with hopefully minimal exposure and risk. The guards they were anticipating would be off duty and the patrol timing would be wrong, but Kyle’s plan was as solid as they could get with what they knew.

No way would Richie be missing this place. Dirt floor, woven grass mat, and a thatched roof that could really use some thatch before the next rainstorm but wasn’t going to get it.

He felt sorry for the laborers. Some of the farmers were about to have an even worse season than the last one. At a big site like this, they were little better than slaves. Once the coca was gone, they’d be free, but with no assets and no working farm crop. In the coca business, locals just weren’t part of the profit equation.

Rolando and the drug lord’s other armed guards Richie liked well enough, but had less sympathy for.

The Delta team slipped out into the darkness, just a hint of the blue in the sky that was already washing out the fainter stars. They passed the farmers’ huts and were almost to the road leading out of the camp.

“Where are you going, amigos?” Rolando, his AK-47 no longer over his shoulder but now in his hands.

“Hey, buddy.” Chad started forward, but stopped and tried to look stupid when Rolando flicked off the safety.

Carla stepped forward with an easy sway of her hips. Her dirty blue work shirt unbuttoned far enough to reveal that her assets weren’t all that much less impressive than the fabled Mayra’s.

Rolando’s eyes dropped to her cleavage.

She moved a hand up to his chest. With a little flick of her wrist, she revealed the long KA-BAR military knife she was holding and rammed it up under his chin and into his brain.

Rolando twitched once.

“That’s for trying to ram it up my backside without asking.”

“He what?” Kyle snarled, but Carla didn’t waste any time answering. If there was ever a woman able to defend herself, Richie knew it was Carla Anderson.

Then Rolando collapsed to the ground and his finger must have snagged on the trigger. A single 7.62mm round gave a loud crack and zinged off into the trees.

“Shit!” the whole team said pretty much in unison.

With their clandestine departure blown, Chad swept up the AK-47 and fired a security round into Rolando’s forehead.

In seconds, they were fifty meters away and moving fast. Kyle had Rolando’s sidearm and Carla had a subcompact Glock 27 that she’d produced from somewhere—where was one of the questions Richie suspected he’d be better off not asking. Still, it was an interesting problem because they’d all been checked on arrival as being unarmed. Richie had pre-buried his GPS and satellite gear in the jungle, carefully crossing then recrossing the mined perimeter before they’d come into the camp so that he could retrieve them once the team had been accepted.

The two guards at the main gate were half-awake when they stumbled to their feet. They went back down fast and Richie and Duane now had AK-47s as well. Chad stripped them of a pair of Makarov handguns, tossing one to Richie that he caught midair.

There was an old Jeep parked by the gate, but neither of the guards had a key. It was probably back in the open, on Rolando’s body. Chad started hot-wiring it while the rest of them stood watch.

Then Richie heard it. Distant at first, but building fast. The four-engine gut-thumping roar of a loaded 747.

“Come on, Chad,” Carla pleaded. “Get us out of here.”

The Jeep’s engine roared to life and they piled in.

Duane tossed his AK-47 to Chad and dove into the driver’s seat—he was the best driver they had. He’d been working up the sprint-car circuit toward NASCAR when he’d taken his detour into the military.

Kyle and Richie dropped two more armed guards who came rushing from the huts, half-dressed and scared awake.

Duane raced the Jeep out of camp along the road, praying for no booby traps.

Then the largest tanker plane in the world descended and began its run.

The 747, converted for firefighting, had been put into deep storage in the Tucson desert when its owners went out of business. The CIA had found another use for the massive plane, which now began its dump of twenty thousand gallons—over eighty tons—of defoliant across the exact coordinates that Richie had sent to them just six hours ago.

His Delta team had been to twelve coca farms in the last six months. And the 747 tanker had visited each in turn. Twelve farms that wouldn’t produce a single leaf of coca anytime soon.

“Down,” Chad shouted.

They all ducked and hung on as Duane rammed the heavy wooden outer barrier at thirty miles an hour. It blew apart. A four-by-four shattered the windshield and Carla knocked the remains of the glass clear with the butt of a Chinese QBB machine gun she’d acquired somewhere along the way before turning it around to shoot a guard who’d been standing well clear of the gate.

Richie kept an eye out to the rear, but no one was following. If they were, they’d have a long way to go. The team had been pulled out of Bolivia. They were being tasked to a new assignment.

That was fine.

After six months training together and another six in the field, it was the last line of the message that had worried them all.

Proceed to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Acquire new team member.

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M.L. Buchman has over 35 novels and an ever-expanding flock of short stories in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year,” Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” and RT “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of the Year.” In addition to romantic suspense, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.

In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at www.mlbuchman.com.

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