Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox

Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger—a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.

Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.

Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?

My Review:
An absolute delight! Ride With Me is a truly refreshing read ….A story about two people who meet to partner up and ride their bikes coast to coast along the TransAmerica bikeTrail.

Tom is a surly laid-back loner, a total recluse in contrast Alex is a control freak who loves to talk…. you can tell this trip is going to be such fun!

So what did I like about “Ride With Me”? Well EVERYTHING! The writing is sharp, funny and witty; the sex is hotter than hot and the story is reel me in engaging.

My one gripe is that the ending felt a little rushed, or maybe it is a case of me loving the book so much that I couldn’t get enough of Tom and Alex and wanted more…
Maybe Ruthie has plans to write part 2 of this trip..... One can hope!

Ruthie Knox is now a new addition to my list of must read authors; I would definitely recommend reading this book.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Santina's Scandalous Princess by Kate Hewitt

Santina's Scandalous Princess by Kate Hewitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
Stop the press: Pampered Princess Tamed?  Santina's Princess Natalia has been spotted on the arm of billionaire Ben Jackson, famous for his ruthless work ethic, devastating good looks and disdain for the spotlight. But Ben has no chance of avoiding the cameras with notorious party girl Natalia in tow! Most surprising of all, Natalia has been seen putting in a full day's work in Ben's office! Has the legendary socialite swapped couture and cocktails for photocopying? One thing's for sure-if we could all have a brooding, dynamic boss like the devilishly attractive Ben, work would be a whole lot more exciting....

My Review:
Breaking News: Pampered Princess Tamed? Think not!

Natalia’s notoriety is fodder for the tabloids who love a good scandal and she is more than happy to provide the gossip and rumors with her many antics. Having lived through a Scandal growing up, Ben abhors any kind off scandal and tries to keep himself out of the press…..a more perfect pair you wont find – a match made in romance heaven!

Princess Natalia reputation precedes her so when she meets Ben Johnson at her brother’s engagement party sparks fly and the gloves come off, these two can sure turn dishing dirt on each other into an artform.

When Natalia is forced to volunteer at Ben’s Charity she is livid but never one to turn down a challenge she take it in her stride and marches on. Ben and Natalia hate each other’s guts but can’t ignore the simmering attraction between them either. As Ben spends more time with Natalia and gets to know the woman behind the façade he realizes her attention grabbing persona is really a front to her hidden insecurities. Ben is exactly what Natalia wants and needs; question is “Is Ben ready to fight for her?”

Santina's Scandalous Princess is a well written entertaining read; you will love Natalia and all snarky comebacks…this book is a great addition to the Santina Crown series.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: BIG SKY COUNTRY by Linda Lael Miller


Joslyn put the mugs down on the table, nearly spilling their contents, and forced herself to meet Kendra’s eyes.
“But you still think I shouldn’t have come here,” she said, her voice small and uncommonly shaky.

Kendra reached out and touched Joslyn’s arm. “Most folks around here understand that you didn’t have anything to do with the scam,” she said. “For pity’s sake, you were just a kid. But some are still carrying a grudge. They might say things, do things—“

Joslyn closed her eyes tightly for a moment, then resolutely opened them again. Nodded her understanding.
She was doing what she knew she had to do, even if she couldn’t precisely explain the reasons, but one thing was definite: it wasn’t going to be easy.
Guest Blog: Using personal stories in writing: do or don’t?

Thanks to BookTrib and Media Muscle I have a paperback copy of Big Sky Country to giveaway. To enter: Leave your email in the Rafflecopterwidget below. 

Guest Blog: Using personal stories in writing: do or don’t?

Yes, I use personal stories in writing, but they’re usually heavily disguised or simply a jumping-off point for working out the plot.  For example, my dad told me lots of stories about his youth, and many of them served to inspire story ideas—especially the ones about old-time ranchers and the rodeo circuit.  A particular favorite concerned one of his employers, a bachelor farmer whose hay crop was ruined by a sudden hard rain, with some hail mixed in for good measure.  This man was outside his cabin when Dad saw him from a wisely-chosen hiding place nearby, stark naked except for work boots and socks, shaking his fist at the heavens and challenging God to “come down and fight, you so-and-so.” Modified, this became the opening scene in my historical romance, “Memory’s Embrace”, in which the hero is arguing with God.  In Keith Corbin’s case, though, his anger was tied in with a deep spiritual belief, since he was a minister.  Another favorite came from my mother, who was raised in Choteau, Montana.  It seems there was an elderly bar-fly who rode his horse to town every day of his life and tied him up in front of the saloon.  The old man eventually died, but the horse came to town anyway, for days on end, and stood there patiently waiting.  I used that one, too, in “The Man from Stone Creek”.  Any writings about story-telling and its effect on my writing would be incomplete without the fabulous tales my honorary grandmother, Florence Wiley, told about her childhood outside of Coffeyville, Kansas.  She actually remembered hearing the shots the day the Dalton brothers tried to rob the bank in town.  Later, the dead outlaws were strapped to boards and displayed along main street, to show the wages of sin is death.  Fortunately, grandma’s parents were forward-thinking people for their time and didn’t take the kids in from the farm to see the grim exhibition, but plenty of others did.  On another occasion, a man rode up to the gate and stood talking with Grandma’s pa, who was working in the field.   The man slept in the family barn that night, and his name was Jesse James.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cowboy's Duty by Marin Thomas

A Cowboy's Duty by Marin Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
That's what Dixie Cash learned from her mother. That and fathers don't stick around. She's pretty independent, and doesn't need help from her baby's daddy, sexy rodeo rider and ex-soldier Gavin Tucker. But he seems determined to do right by her. Just as Dixie starts to imagine that together they might be a family, tragedy strikes—and Gavin shows his true colors. She knew he wasn't honorable!

After what Gavin went through in Afghanistan, he was more than happy to lose himself in the rodeo circuit—and in sweet Dixie's arms. But doing the right thing can be hard sometimes, and when Dixie—Gavin's lifeline—doesn't need him anymore, he's at a loss. His heart still longs for her, though he's not sure he deserves a second chance.…

My Review:
When Dixie and Gavin’s one night of passion results in a pregnancy it sure throws their well ordered life into a tailspin.

Ex-soldier Gavin is dealing with PTSD and is happy to loose himself touring the Rodeo circuit; he is a rolling stone not looking for either a relationship or commitment, a baby on the way sure changes things. Dixie is a little spitfire who is fiercely independent and is not interested in being a responsibility to anyone.

Clearly Dixie and Gavin have a tough road to negotiate to reach their HEA; I really like how this couple works through their issues and put their baby’s wants and need before their own.

Dixie lives on her family Pecan farm with her six older brothers. The Cash family dynamics is very well written, all the teasing, the ribbing between the siblings is fun to read, but their protectiveness and love for Dixie will warm your heart.

A Cowboy’s Duty is a nice easy read, with down to earth characters; a story about family and love and sticking by each other through thick and thin no matter what hand life deals you.


Chapter One


Boot Hill Rodeo, Boot Hill, Arizona.


"I'll never be as ready as you are." Dixie Cash grimaced at her high-school friend Shannon Douglas—one of the top female bull riders in the country.

Shannon was forever on the lookout for a roughstock competition and when Five Star Rodeos had agreed to sponsor women's bull riding in three summer events Shannon had promised to find five women crazy enough to ride with her—Dixie being one of them.

"Here." Shannon held out a bank draft.

"I feel bad taking your money." Dixie shoved the check into the front pocket of her jeans.

"You're worth every penny."

When Shannon had mentioned the rodeos, Dixie had just been hired as a part-time receptionist for a construction company in Yuma. She'd wanted to help her friend but needed money to launch an Internet business for her homemade organic bath soaps. Then Shannon had made Dixie an offer she couldn't refuse—a thousand dollars per rodeo—tax free.

"Looks like Veronica Patriot set her sights on Gavin Tucker."

Dixie's gaze followed Shannon's pointer finger. Figures the blond buckle bunny would target the handsome bareback rider. "If the cowboy knows what's good for him he'll avoid the tramp like the plague." Dixie had run into Gavin—literally—at the Canyon City Rodeo in June when she'd tripped over his gear bag and knocked him to the ground.

"The bull's more of a spinner than a bucker," Shannon said. "Stay centered." The tan Charbray stood docile in the chute, but once freed all hell would break loose.

"Ladies and gentlemen, turn your attention to gate two. Dixie Cash is about to tangle with Bad Mamajamma." The crowd stomped their boots against the bleachers and whistles filled the air.

"If the Cash name sounds familiar it's because Dixie's got six older brothers who rodeo. Earlier today, Merle Cash took third in the saddle-bronc competition."

While Shannon and a rodeo helper fished the bull rope beneath Bad Mamajamma, Dixie pulled on her riding gloves and adjusted her headgear with its protective mask.

Let's get this over with. Dixie straddled the fifteen-hundred pound nuisance, found her grip then nodded to the gateman. The bull pounced for freedom, the first buck almost unseating Dixie. Anticipating a wild ride, she held her breath through the first of two tight spins, squeezing her thighs against the animal's girth.

Bad Mamajamma decided he'd had enough of Dixie and kicked out with extra force. As if she'd been shot from a cannon, Dixie catapulted through the air. She hit the dirt hard, but instinctively curled her body into a ball and rolled away from the bull's hooves. The bullfighter stepped in front of Bad Mamajamma, affording Dixie an extra second to gain her footing. She ran for the rails and scrambled to safety.

"Well, folks, Dixie Cash gave it her best shot." The announcer discussed Shannon's upcoming ride, but Dixie stopped listening when her boots landed in front of Gavin Tucker.

"Good try," he said.

Try being the operative word. "Thanks." Brilliant, Dixie. A cowboy with killer looks and nice manners goes out of his way to talk to you and you mumble 'thanks'?

"How long have you been riding bulls?" Gavin asked.

"Started this summer."

A dark eyebrow lifted. "Gusty gal."

More like crazy. For the life of her, Dixie couldn’t find her tongue. Turned out she didn't have to. Veronica Patriot materialized out of nowhere and sashayed her way between Dixie and Gavin. She placed her French-manicured talons on Gavin's chest and thrust her heaving bosom in his face. "Time to celebrate, cowboy."

Dixie despised Veronica. The woman had done a number on her brother Porter—used him to make another cowboy jealous then left him high and dry with a broken heart.

"Sorry, I've got plans." Gavin's soulful brown eyes beseeched Dixie.

"What plans?" Veronica propped her hands on her hips.

Dixie had read her share of silent help me messages from her brothers. The look Gavin sent her begged her to rescue him from the clutches of the evil buckle bunny. What the heck.

"Gavin and I have a date," Dixie said.

"Pardon?" Veronica frowned.

"That's right." Gavin inched closer to Dixie and the scent of dust and faded cologne went straight to her head. When he rested his arm across her shoulders a little shiver raced down her spine. Gavin couldn’t have been more than six feet tall, but her five-foot-six inches fit perfectly tucked against him.

Veronica's gaze bounced between Gavin and Dixie. "What kind of date?"

"A boy-girl date." Dixie smiled sweetly.

"Honey, a girl like you can't handle a military man."

Dixie had heard that Gavin Tucker had been stationed in Afghanistan before he'd left the Army. "What do you think, Gavin? Can I handle you?"

He grinned.

Disgusted, Veronica snorted like a pig and stomped off.

"Thanks." Gavin released Dixie and stepped back.

Wishing he still had his arm around her, she said, "No worries. Veronica can be a pest."

"Are you celebrating later with your lady bull rider friends?"


"I'm heading over to the Spittoon. Maybe I'll see you there."


Gavin walk off and Dixie couldn’t help but think he was exactly the kind of man she'd like to marry someday. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway: Affinity by LaVerne Clark

Today it is my pleasure to host LaVerne Clark at HarlequinJunkie

Welcome LaVerne and thanks for celebrating the release of "Affinity" with us here today

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

LaVerne: I’m a proud Kiwi (New Zealander) born in a town called Te Puke (pronounced Tear poo-care). Now I call Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand home. Nelson is the sunshine capital of the country blessed with sea, mountains and National Parks surrounding it. We are also the geographical centre of the country which just adds to the magical feel to the place in my opinion .
I have two children – a boy and girl – and been married to my older brother’s best friend for almost 14 years – but I’ve been in love with him for much longer! Is it any wonder I became a romance writer? 

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

LaVerne: Since I could pick up a pencil, I’ve loved to write. There has always been a need in me to write stories and explore feelings and relationships. I had a wonderful teacher in my early years of school who believed in me and whose words of encouragement have stayed with me ever since. I also overheard my mother and her sister one day joking about romance novels and how easy it would be to write one together. Their plot was hilarious! I think that is the day I started thinking maybe I could too.
FYI – they never did write that book, but I wish they had of!

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

LaVerne: I was lucky in that my very first submission was accepted for publication. I’d been paralysed with fear of sending anything in before then, and it was thanks to a critique buddy of mine giving me the courage that I finally did. Now the dams have broken and the stories are coming thick and fast.
What one thing that has happened in your life has made the biggest impact on who you are today?

LaVerne: I was bullied for a whole year during Intermediate School. It was a group of three girls who called me ugly and generally just delighted in taunting me. Finally, I had enough and stood up for myself – and it stopped. As a result, I’m a sucker for the underdog and can’t stand bullying of any description. I will wade in when I see it happening anywhere. I still have a hard time believing it when a person compliments me on my looks – but then this probably isn’t because of bullying -  what woman doesn’t?

Let's Talk about your Brand new Release "AFFINITY"

LaVerne: Jenna’s family moved to NZ after the atomic bombing at Hiroshima changed their lives – and their DNA. Years later, living a quiet life isn’t possible when she saves a life and suddenly she’s in the spotlight – and the radar of local policeman, Nick. But he’s not alone in wanting her.

What sparked the idea for your novel “Affinity”?

LaVerne: A publisher had been looking for stories about super-heroes and it got me thinking. What powers could people have and how did they come about them. I’ve always been fascinated and horrified by the bombing at Hiroshima, and I suddenly had an ‘aha’ moment.

How did you come up with character in this book?

LaVerne: Jenna is half-Japanese and introduced herself to me as soon as I thought ‘Hiroshima’.
Nick is a jaded policeman working off steam from a particularly nasty case when he happens across the incident which brings Jenna to world-wide attention. His character is defined by what he does – he doesn’t believe in things he can’t explain.

What were the challenges you faced in bringing this book to life?

LaVerne: Time. With a young and busy household to keep together, time is my biggest challenge in getting any writing done. One of the reasons I write late into the night.

What was your favorite part of the book(s)?

LaVerne: love writing sexual tension. I play on it until it is impossible to keep them apart any longer. But my favorite part? The initial scene where Jenna has saved a little boy from drowning, and Jenna and Nick meet for the first time. There is nothing like that first moment they lay eyes on each other is there?

Is your book in Print, eBook or both?
LaVerne: Affinity is available in eBook.

On a lighter note...

Which of your characters would you most/least invite to dinner, and why?

 LaVerne: love to have Gabriel Ryan from Guardian of the Jewel for dinner – oops! Make that OVER for dinner. There is something so incredibly sexy about a deep male voice with an Irish accent. His job as a recovery agent would be fascinating to learn more about and his wicked charm is irresistible.
least like to have Ryoichi Takeda from Affinity over for dinner. On the surface – he is an intelligent and successful man – but underneath his veneer is a vengeful man without scruples. You’d never know what he is thinking behind those eyes of his. 

Sing in the rain or dance in the streets? 

LaVerne: Im definitely a sing in the rain kind of gal. Blame my mother 

What is your favorite movie & song?

LaVerne: Ooo! Can I have two?? If so, I’ll sneak in ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘While You Were Sleeping’. My favorite song would be ‘Feelin’ Good’ by Muse.

Your favorite quotes?

LaVerne: ‘Don’t waste your time or time will waste you’ by Muse
      What’s the deal with 'I before E'

     LaVerne: It’s not after ‘C’. But I was hoping you could tell me what the deal is! 

   You can contact LaVerne on the web at the following places:         

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Monday, June 25, 2012

His Majesty's Mistake by Jane Porter

His Majesty's Mistake by Jane Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
She's everything this desert king shouldn't want...  
 Spurned and publicly humiliated by the father of her child, Princess Emmeline d'Arcy has no ring, no wedding date and no legitimacy for her unborn baby. And the last straw? Having to trade in her gilded lifestyle and pretend to be her twin sister, otherwise known as Sheikh Makin Al-Koury's personal assistant. Accustomed to being waited on hand and foot, Emmeline finds herself having to jump to the click of her boss's skillful fingers-day and night! But once the sheikh uncovers her shameful past, will his touch be nothing but a scorching memory.

 My Review:
Super Alpha Sexy Compassionate Sheikh + Sassy Pregnant Emotionally Strung Princess = WINNER!!

You will instantly fall in love with Princess Emmeline d'Arcy and Sheikh Makin Al-Koury and will be emotionally vested from the get go. I love how protective Makin is of Emmeline even though he is drawn to her against his will.

Jane has a style that is uniquely her own. What really takes this book from good to truly amazing is the storytelling; not only is it vivid and descriptive but it is mainly told from Makin’s POV; you immediately get an insight into Makin’s emotions and his conflicting feelings towards Emmeline.

His Majesty’s mistake is truly an amazing story; funny at times yet intensely emotional at others; a story about second chances and looking beyond the surface.

His Majesty's Mistake definitely stands out as one of the best ‘Sheikh’ books I have read recently. Highly recommended and HJ Top Pick!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Last Woman He’d Ever Date by Liz Fielding

Today it is my Pleasure to host USA Best Selling Author and Rita Award winning writer LIZ FIELDING!

Liz, Welcome to HarlequinJunkie! Over to You...

 The process of writing a book is endlessly fascinating and for me, always different. The big question most people ask me is “Where do you begin?”

For some books the answer is easy. When I wrote The Last Woman He’d Ever Date, I started with a cute meet. An awkward situation where Claire Thackeray is caught out but recovers the situation with aplomb. And then I found myself writing backwards.

I’m a dyed in the wool pantster. I wind my characters up, put them on the page and let them go. It’s not always an easy process but this is the first time they’ve simply stood there, looking at me, tapping their feet.

“What?” I said, confused.

They just rolled their eyes. Characters do that when you’re being a bit thick. But not usually in chapter one.

Finally, it occurred to me that if this was the moment when Hal North used his power to retaliate for Claire’s stories about him in the local newspaper, they had to have met before. But when? How long ago? Under what circumstances? And as the story developed, I found myself working backwards. I began again, a week or so earlier. Wrote a different cute meet involving mud, embarrassment and a rush of memory that told me, and the reader, about the past.

I nearly had it.

But I needed to know why Hal was back in Cranbrook. And that was the moment I took another step back to his moment of triumph over an old enemy, giving the reader a hint of what was to come for the heroine. A hint that his triumph will be a hollow thing.

Here are all three moments.

SIR Robert Cranbrook glared across the table. Even from his wheelchair and ravaged by a stroke he was an impressive man, but his hand shook as he snatched the pen his lawyer offered and signed away five hundred years of power and privilege.
‘Do you want a sample of my DNA, too, boy?’ he demanded as he tossed the pen on the table. His speech was slurred but the arrogant disdain of every one of those five hundred years was in his eyes. ‘Are you prepared to drag your mother’s name through the courts in order to satisfy your pretensions? Because I will fight your right to inherit my title.’
Even now, when he’d lost everything, he still thought his name, the baronetcy that went with it, meant something.
Hal North’s hand was rock steady as he picked up the pen and added his signature to the papers, immune to that insulting “boy”.
Cranfield Park meant nothing to him except as a means to an end. He was the one in control here, forcing his enemy to sit across the table and look him in the eye, to acknowledge the shift in power. That was satisfaction enough.
Nearly enough.

Claire Thackeray swung her bike off the road and onto the footpath that crossed Cranbrook Park estate.
The “No Cycling” sign had been knocked down by the quad bikers before Christmas and late for work, again, she didn’t bother to dismount.
She wasn’t a rule breaker by inclination but no one was taking their job for granted at the moment, besides, hardly anyone used the path. The Hall was unoccupied but for a caretaker and any fisherman taking advantage of the hiatus in occupancy to tempt Sir Robert’s trout from the Cran wouldn’t give two hoots. Which left only Archie and he’d look the other way for a bribe.
As she approached a bend in the path Archie, who objected to anyone travelling faster than walking pace past his meadow, charged the hedge. It was terrifying if you weren’t expecting it — hence the avoidance by joggers — and pretty unnerving if you were. The trick was to have a treat ready and she reached in her basket for the apple she carried to keep him sweet.
Her hand met fresh air and as she looked down she had a mental image of the apple sitting on the kitchen table, before Archie — not a donkey to be denied an anticipated treat — brayed his disapproval.
Her first mistake was not to stop and dismount the minute she realised she had no means of distracting him, but while his first charge had been a challenge, his second was the real deal. While she was still on the what, where, how, he leapt through one of the many gaps in the long neglected hedge, easily clearing the sagging wire and she was too busy pumping the pedals in an attempt to outrun him to be thinking clearly.
Her second mistake was to glance back, see how far away he was and the next thing she knew she’d come to an abrupt and painful halt in a tangle of bike and limbs — not all of them her own — and was face down in a patch of bluebells growing beneath the hedge.

‘Everyone’s a comedian,’ Claire said, pushing her seat back and doing her best to put a brave face on things. ‘If Mr North has seen the error of his ways and is prepared to salve his conscience by helping with a project that benefits the town, let’s make it a good one. Something to make his eyes water.’
Toughen up, be ruthless…
Meanwhile, in return for sprinkling the fairy dust of publicity on local suppliers who supported the “Wish” — free promo in the paper in return for their generosity — and hours of extra unpaid work spent drumming up that support, chasing down grants, organising local youth groups, she was about to be working with Hal North. Given the choice, she wouldn’t have done it dressed in a tutu and wings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
She paused just before she reached the door, pasted on a broad grin for her colleagues, she turned to face them and was confronted by the display of the week’s front pages.
“Mr Mean Targets Teddies” leapt out at her.
Oh, well, brave face, Claire…
‘Ladies, gentlemen…’ She waved her ballpoint over them with a flourish before executing a low curtsey. ‘I leave you to fight over the front page while I don my wings and fly away to part Mr Mean from his money.’
She’d anticipated an ironic cheer. At the very least a laugh. What she got was dead silence. She glanced at Tim. He was always good for a jeer, if nothing else. He’d paused in the act of mopping the coffee off his shirt but didn’t respond with as much as a twitch of an eyebrow and with a sudden sick feeling in the pit of her stomach she turned around.
Behind her, Willow Armstrong, the CEO of the Melchester-based Armstrong Newspaper Group which owned not only the Maybridge Observer, the County Chronicle and dozens of other titles in the region, but the local commercial radio station, was standing in the corridor.
With her, Hal North, a head taller, was looking down his long, not quite straight nose, piercing her with eyes that were of a blue so intense, so dark that it sucked the breath right out of her body.
‘Hal…’ Mrs Armstrong, ignoring the pregnant silence said, ‘I believe you know Claire Thackeray?’

Where would you have started? 

The Last Woman He’d Ever Date is available now at in paper and ebook, and will be available retail in July.

And if you’re keen to write your own romance and would like to know how to get it right first time, Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance is available as an eBook everywhere.

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a copy of "The Last Woman He’d Ever Date"

Please enter your email in the Rafflecopter below and Post a comment telling us  "Your Dream Date" (other than spouse / BF)

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The Boy who Made Them Love Again by Scarlet Wilson

The Boy who Made Them Love Again by Scarlet Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
From Dr Storm to devoted dadWhen Luke Storm ended his relationship with Abby Tyler, he thought that he was doing the right thing.
Abby so wanted children and Luke knew he could never give them to her. Now, five years later, when he meets Abby again, and with a little boy of her own, Luke is rocked.
She’s as gorgeous and adorable as ever, but he realises that if he wants Abby back in his life, he has to let her special little son into his heart and become the father he never expected to be…

My Review
I really enjoyed reading "The Boy who Made Them Love Again "

The story starts out as a fun, light read; Two lovers Luke and Abby re-uniting by chance after 5 years but half way through the book it gets deeply emotional.

The characters in this book are wonderfully written; Reuben will make your heart melt what a sweetie.

"The Boy who Made Them Love Again " is an exceptionally well written medical novel, with lot’s of emotion, heartache and drama to keep you roped in to the end.

A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington

A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back Cover:
One night of passion...

Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he'd buried years ago.

He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor's daughter...and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can't keep the same promise.

But when the stalker's attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela's life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.

My Review:
A Night of Southern Comfort is a Sizzling Hot read with the added element of mystery and intrigue to keep you engaged to the very end.

Kayla decides to celebrate a new chapter in her life with a one night stand….no names, just one night of hot, sweaty, wall banging sex and oh boy does Jackson ever deliver…
“What the hell were you supposed to do when your fantasy showed up in your reality?”
Thank her lucky stars I say ☺

The characters in the book are well drawn out; the passion and chemistry between Jackson and Kayla leap off the pages, these two could easily start a 5 alarm blaze…

A Night of Southern Comfort is a solid debut novel by Robin Covington. A recommended read.

Quotes from the book:

-- He stopped in front of her, his thigh brushing her leg and setting off a series of sparks underneath her skin. His chocolate brown eyes met hers, filled with the assurance of decadent possibilities.
Michaela opened her mouth and shut it again. Now that he was here, she had no idea what to say. What would Angelina do? Channel your inner Jolie.
She cleared her throat. The result was a sultry, sexy voice she didn’t know she possessed. “May I buy you a drink?”
He glanced at the glass in her hand and nodded.
“A Southern Comfort.” She spoke in the general direction of the bartender, unable to tear herself away from her companion. “Neat.”

-- “I wasn´t looking for a man at all. That changed when I saw you. I picked you because I couldn´t not pick you".” 

-- "Date me. Move in with me. Marry me. Make me beg. I don´t care". 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Mary Welcome to HarlequinJunkie! 

The story behind the story…

Anthony Weston came to me as I lay on the hospital bed waiting for the first of three surgeries that would lead to a hysterectomy six weeks later. There I was, tucked into an oversized blue and white print hospital issue with an IV in one arm, beeps, buzzes, and scuffing footsteps pushing me toward a migraine. Without glasses or contacts, I could see about three inches in front of me and that’s a generous estimation generous. I didn’t even have the calming voice of my husband next to me as he’d been shuttled to the waiting room.
I did the only thing a writer can do at a moment like this – I closed my eyes and thought of my next book, or more to the point, my next hero. I love creating heroes, the wounded kind that ‘bleeds hurt and been done wrong’ - the kind every woman wants to heal. My mind wandered, the noises quieted, and there he was, Mr. Anthony Weston, in his proper attire and perfectly tied cravat. When he popped into my head, I didn’t know the details of his painful history, the lowly beginning as a stable boy with an empty belly and grimy hands, the father who beat him, the mother who didn’t love him enough to save herself. I knew none of Anthony’s story, but then I began to think about what would make a man like this avoid anything that smacks of emotion and what kind of woman could change his mind and heal his heart. Enter Meriel Linton, a carefree spirit who runs barefoot, dons men’s breeches and loves animals and people with innocent abandon and boundless energy.

This is Meriel’s first impression of Anthony Weston, from A TASTE OF SEDUCTION:
The door clicked behind her and Meriel forced her gaze in the direction of the voice. A man sat behind a large desk, writing. He was somewhere in his thirties, with closely clipped black hair, save an errant cowlick above his left brow. He had rough, hard features: thick, bushy eyebrows, a straight, firm nose with a slight crook to the left, high cheekbones and a jaw that was too square. There was nothing soft about him, except perhaps his mouth which boasted a pair of well-formed lips.
But when he looked up, the frown on his face pulled his lips into a thin straight line and Meriel changed her initial opinion. There was nothing soft about the man. She met his stormy silver gaze, cold as a winter’s chill, and just as biting.
And then there was the scar. It ran down the right side of his face in a jagged path, from the edge of his bushy brow trailing halfway down his cheekbone. 
She swallowed. This man was most definitely not Lord Montrose. Besides being much too young, Uncle Bernard had told her that Lord Montrose loved her mother beyond reason. She doubted this man had ever loved anything in his life. 
And then there’s Anthony’s thoughts on Meriel . . .
            What the devil! He ran his hands over his face and thought of his encounter with the red-headed stranger. She was beautiful, of that there was no doubt. With her tumbling fiery mane and brilliant blue eyes, the woman was the type who could weave truths from lies and capture the heart of any unsuspecting fool. Not him of course. He’d never been considered a fool.

I made it through the surgeries and recuperation period with the love and support of my husband’s quiet strength, my children and stepchildren’s humor, my mother’s cooking that included green leafy vegetable and liver to build up my depleted iron supply, my dog, Molly, who stayed at my side when I was too weak to sit up, and of course, Anthony Weston, who had a story to tell and needed me to tell it.

About me…
I grew up in a very small town in northwest Pennsylvania with two older brothers and a younger sister. There were no malls, no McDonalds, and one movie theater that closed in the summer to avoid competition with the drive-in. (One man owned both.) One thing this town did have was a wonderful library . . . about 2 miles away. I walked there at least once a week and fell in love with the characters and places I read about. It was then I began creating different endings to some of the stories I read, and if I didn’t want the story to end, I continued it on in my head – exactly the way I wanted it! Though I moved away and lived in different cities and states, family and the small town community have always stayed with me and are often central themes in my stories.

Did I know I wanted to be a writer as a child…
Honestly, I had no real idea what I wanted to do. But when you are 16 and intelligent, people start asking and I thought I had to have an answer . . . as though it was a test! I thought about a nurse, an English teacher, or a journalist. I decided on nursing because my mother was a nurse and loved it, my grandmother lived with us and I enjoyed taking care of her, and there were several scholarships for nursing. No brainer, right? Wrong. My heart was in the written word. My college freshman English teacher told me I broke the curve every time we had an essay. I did become a registered nurse but left a few months after taking my state boards. I found that while I loved reading about medical conditions and situations, I was not cut out to actually be in the middle of them. It would take many years to find the courage to follow my true path. Who knows? Had I become an English teacher, I might have been so content I would not have tried writing my own story. I find many of my stories involve medical situations, so that schooling did help!

Advice to the new writer…
Write what you are passionate about, do not jump on the trend wagon, and continue to improve your craft. Only you can write your stories with your voice – find that voice and stay true to it. It may take time to discover your voice but it will be worth it. Don’t take a rejection personally either-(see below)  I know that’s hard to do but if you let it, rejection can smother you. Don’t let that happen to you! Join a group in the genre you write but don’t let others tell you what or how to write. Read. Quite a bit. Most importantly- write, write, write! And NEVER GIVE UP! Did I mention write?

And a thought about rejection letters…
Ugh!  No, do you really want to know how I feel? UGH!! Seriously, no one wants to be rejected, but if the reason is plausible, I can accept it. I might not like it, most of the time I won’t agree with it, but I will accept it. (And file it away, to pull out when it sells and say, ‘Ahah, you were wrong!’) The subjectivity of this business makes it difficult. Editor A might love the first half but not the last half. Editor B loves the last half and none of the first half. Editor C loves it all. D loves none of it. See what I mean? You can’t start changing your book to please everyone or you will end up with something you don’t even recognize.
What I find most difficult is waiting months and months and months and then receiving a form ‘This project is not right for us’ or nothing at all, which is apparently acceptable in some circles. I consider it bad manners, no matter how you look at it.
The kindest rejection advice I ever received came from a young editor who said to never give up. The rejection was merely a pass on the piece, not a pass on me, the author. Do not take it personally and please continue submitting.  So, there you have it.
Since I’ve joined the self-publishing world, there’s a new kind of rejection that’s often bold, blatant, and certainly doesn’t come in a sealed envelope or private email. It’s called the bad review. And the writer’s best defense is to not look at them…easy to say, hard to do.

Yes, I write in more than one genre…
I began with historicals for the pure joy of falling into romance through a fairytale setting. The beautiful young women, the wealthy, titled men, the gowns, the carriages, the estates, even the villains are pure fairytale material reminiscent of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. I still remember watching Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon, (who was later Alan Quartermaine in General Hospital!) The historical lifts me up and carries me away into happily ever after. And here’s a confession; I watch Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice at least once a month. (The Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley version.) I know many Austen critics say it’s not true to the story, but I can’t help it, the chemistry is there and I love the scene in the rain and when Mr. Darcy hands Ms. Elizabeth into the carriage and squeezes her hand. I’ve watched that scene so many times- nothing is said, yet so much is conveyed.  Anthony Weston in A Taste of Seduction is initially a bit of a ‘stick in the mud’ like Mr. Darcy.
Writing contemporary romance comes naturally to me. Most of my contemporary romances are hybrids; combination contemporary romance and women’s fiction. But, I like a strong romance in the book, so I’m always going to have one in there. The whole attraction/distraction, push/pull between the man and woman is a must.  They have deeper themes but great love stories too.

What I’m working on now…
I just finished the first in a Regency historical series I’m calling The Model Wife. It’s delightful and delicious with a very different kind of hero. Next up will be book editing and re-releasing of Paradise Found. Then book two of the An Unlikely Husband series. (The Seduction of Sophie Seacrest is book one.)

Here’s a snippet for Paradise Found – What if a man who has everything – wealth, power, looks, talent- is suddenly stripped of one of life’s most basic needs – his sight – and what if the one person who can help him redefine his new world is a woman who has been so emotionally scarred and bruised by an ex-husband that she can’t see past this man’s image to the real person inside?
Paradise Found explores the delicate balance between ‘blind’ trust and hope, the development and nurturing of feelings where physical appearances are non-existent, and the inevitable fear that accompanies any relationship when the mask of politeness is discarded and the true self is revealed.

And here I am…

Mary will be giving away a copy of "A Taste of Seduction" and "The Way They Were" to 2 lucky commentors.
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The Way They Were 
He hasn’t spoken her name in fourteen years. She keeps a journal hidden in the back of her closet and permits herself to write about him once a year—on the anniversary of the first and only time they made love. They promised to love one another forever, but tragedy tore them apart. Now, destiny may just bring them back together.

“He’s back.”
Kate’s brush slipped, smearing red paint onto the gray siding of the miniature dollhouse. Damn. She snatched a rag and began dabbing at the red spot.


She dabbed harder as if she could blot out Angie’s words. “I heard you.”


Kate glanced up, proud of the outward calm she displayed when her insides were a jumble of panic. “And what?”
“Oh for heaven’s sake, it’s me you’re talking to here, the one who sat up with you for three nights straight after that jerk left.” Angie swore under her breath and muttered, “He didn’t even have the decency to say good-bye.” 
“It was a long time ago.” Fourteen years in July. 
Angie Sorrento was a pint-size dynamo with a giant-sized temper who swore in Italian and English and could carry a grudge longer than anyone Kate had ever known. The only grudge larger than the one Angie had for Rourke Flannigan was the one relegated to the ex-fiancé who skipped out on her three days before the wedding.
“Really, Angie. Fourteen years is ancient history.”
Angie’s dark eyes narrowed. “That’s what I’m worried about, Kate. Your history with Mr. Jerk.”
“There’s no need to worry.” Kate dipped her brush in red and filled in the trim along the roof. This house was a four bedroom cape cod, designed for Rachel and Jared Hennessy and their seven year old twins, Jeffrey and Jason. The family had relocated from Richmond, Virginia last year so Jared could teach sophomore English and coach basketball in Montpelier. Great family—devoted couple, beautiful kids, even a golden retriever named Jed.
Angie started up again. “Even if it weren’t ‘Mr. Holier than Thou, let me grace you with my presence in this Podunk town’ and even if said man-boy weren’t someone you’d been intimately involved with, I’d still be worried.”
“Unnecessarily.” Kate ignored the way her pulse skittered when Angie talked about him.
“You’re vulnerable.”
“Stop.” Her pulse tripled.
“You buried Clay five months ago. That makes you a lonely widow. The perfect target.”
“You watch too many Lifetime movies.” Had he heard about Clay? That was ridiculous, how could he have heard? She had no idea where he lived and now, suddenly, he was here. Why?
“Katie? Are you all right?”
No, she wasn’t. She hadn’t been all right since—Kate pushed the unwelcome truth away and glanced at her friend. “I’m fine.”
“Fine is code word for no. Look, I know you don’t want to talk about him, but there are some things you’ve got to know before this guy comes waltzing back into your life.”
“He’s hardly waltzing back into my life.”
“Steamrolling then. You just wait and see.”
“We haven’t seen each other since we were eighteen.”  A marriage and child ago. “We’re strangers.”
“You were planning to marry the guy.”
Kate set down her brush and plastered the same expression she’d worn when well-wishers patted her hand and offered prayers for strength to endure her newly-widowed state. She’d never told Clay how much he meant to her, not really and now one freakish accident had stolen her chances of ever telling him.
“They say he kicks people out of their homes to get a deal.”
“That’s crazy. He would never—” She stopped. How did she know what he would never do? He was a man now, not a teenager.
“They say he buys the buildings dirt cheap, after he kicks the tenants out, and then renovates the places into posh apartments for his rich friends.” Angie crossed her arms over her small chest and tilted her head to one side so several black springs of hair bounced off her shoulders. “While you were watching Barney with Julia, I was watching him on E and seeing his face plastered in People.”
Rourke had always hated media in any form, said they made it hard to find a nugget of truth in anything. Kate started to shake her head in denial and ended in a shrug. What did she really know about him anymore? The truth slipped out again. Nothing.
“He flew to Sweden to have dinner with some beauty queen. And spent Easter skiing in the Alps.”
“Busy man.” While Rourke was globetrotting, she’d been burying her husband and trying to console her daughter.
“Still not married though plenty have tried to snag him.”
So, there was no wife.
“Here.” Angie slid a folder across the table.  “Everything you need to arm yourself against Mr. Rourke Connor Flannigan.”
Kate glanced at the manila folder in front of her.  “You make him sound like a villain.”
“If he gets to you again, you won’t survive.”
“Are there pictures in here?” Kate fingered the folder. 
“Of course.” Angie let out an indelicate snort. “Okay, he’s drop dead gorgeous, I will give him that, but not much else.”
With a flip of the folder, she could satisfy fourteen years of wondering. “Maybe I’ll just take a peek—”
“Damn! Close the folder. Quick.”
“Because Mr. Jerk’s standing right outside.”