[Review] Mistletoe Games by Jaci Burton

About the book

Mistletoe Games
(Play by Play #6.5, 8.5, 10.5)
by Jaci Burton

ebook
Publication Date: October 18th 2016 by Berkley
ISBN: 045148813X

No one brings the sexy out in sports like Jaci Burton, the author of the New York Times bestselling Play-by-Play novels. Now, she puts together a holiday hat trick with three novellas featuring the hottest sports around: baseball, hockey, and surfing—because hard bodies are always in season…

Holiday Games
For the high-achieving Elizabeth and her husband, baseball player Gavin Riley, failure is not an option. So when it comes to making a baby, they’re not about to let any holiday distractions get in the way of their necessary pleasures…

Holiday on Ice
It’s the season for giving and superstar hockey player Patrick “Trick” Niemeyer is ready to give dancer Stella Slovinski his heart wrapped up in bow. But he’ll have to melt the ice surrounding her heart to keep her from walking away…

Hot Holiday Nights
Christmas in Hawaii brings sports agent Tori Baldwin two presents: a young surfer at the top of his game and his business manager. But this hot threesome has to decide if the romantic wave they’ve caught is nothing more than a vacation fling, or the kind of love that could change their lives forever…

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

Note: I haven’t read any books in the Play by Play series yet, but I’m pretty sure all these short stories can be read as stand alones.

Holiday Games:
What could I possible say to Holiday Games, except for it’s basically one giant-ass sex scene, with some bits of  story here and there – and those weren’t even interesting. If I had read the previous books in this series, I might have appreciated this story more, but as it is, I was not impressed by it.

After reading Holiday Games I just couldn’t immediately continue reading the other two short stories of this book, so I put it aside for a while.

To be quite honest, I picked it up again a few hours ago and I just can’t. I can’t finish it. The writing style didn’t keep me hooked and I’m not sure if I want to read the rest of the book, just to get disappointed by those stories as well. So I decided after a long internal battle – I hate quitting ARCs – to stop the struggle I have with this book and just call it a day. I won’t continue reading it.

Should you pick it up, I hope you enjoy it. I guess Jaci Burton and me, we don’t mix well. Maybe I should have read a book in Play By Play series first to fully be hooked to this series, but I highly doubt it.

Rating: DNF

 

[Review] At Attention by Annabeth Albert

About the book

At Attention
(Out Of Uniform #2)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

Truth be told after reading the synopsis I was a bit afraid – for two reasons. First because I couldn’t quite remember who Apollo was and if he even was in the previous book. I’m bad at remembering names, let me tell you that. Reason number two was that a few days ago I’ve read a book about a married guy with children, who was secretly gay, but never came out to his wife and then she died. So, because I couldn’t remember who Apollo was, I thought it would be the other book all over again. Note: I didn’t like that other book. But of course, I didn’t need to worry, everything was totally different. I really need to work at remembering names. I remembered there was a guy in the military who was gay with children, but I didn’t know anymore that that man was Apollo.

So if you made it through my little “I am stupid” paragraph, let me tell you that I love this book. I rarely give a book a full 5 star rating, but I just can’t do anything different with At Attention. I loved the character, loved the story and loved the writing.

I loved Dylan, Apollo’s love interest. He was adorable. ADORABLE. He didn’t push Apollo into starting something new after his husband’s death, but let him decide the pace. Also he was really good with the children. He was fun and at the same time everyone thought of him as a child, even though he’s long grown up.

Then there was Apollo. There were some scenes where I wanted to bash his head in, because he kept hurting my poor Dylan without knowing it, but I still also loved him.

At Attention didn’t have too much talk about the military part of Apollo’s job. There were a few scenes that dealed with that topic, but overall it only took a minor role in the book.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, which could be about Ben and Maddox, but I’m not quite sure it actually is. I guess I have to wait and see.

Also I told myself to wait before I start reading At Attention. I didn’t want to start till March. Joke’s on me. I already finished it and it isn’t even February yet. LOL.

Rating: 5 stars

[Review] Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

About the book

Wrapped Together
(Portland Heat #5)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: December 6th 2016 by Lyrical Shine

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected .

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

Wrapped Together was only my second book by Annabeth Albert and haven’t I just looked it up on Goodreads I still wouldn’t know that this is part of a series. The fifth installment in fact. I was perfectly able to read it as a stand-alone.

But guys, I did it in the wrong order. This story works around Christmas. When do I read it … right, after Christmas, of course. Didn’t hurt the story, but it made me miss Christmas already. Stupid me. Haha.

Wrapped Together was a really cute and heart-warming book. I read it in one sitting, that’s how glued to the pages I was.

The guys – Hollis and Sawyer – Annabeth created were really down-to-earth and felt so real. Their romance hadn’t overly much drama, except for that one scene that I thought fit perfectly into the story. Reading about the progress between these two was sweet and fun. Their sex scenes were steamy though! I loved how they told their families that they are together. So funny. I highlighted so many funny conversations between those two on my Kindle. They made me smile a lot.

The only thing that made me a bit sad was that Wrapped Together was so short. Only a bit over 100 pages, but I think that gave the story the charm it had.

Wrapped Together was a really cute story about Christmas and really likeable characters. This won’t be the last time I read a book of this series.

Rating: 4 stars

[Review] Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

About the book

Justice Ascending
(The Scorpius Syndrome #3)
by Rebecca Zanetti

ebook, 400 pages
Publication Date: January 31st 2017 by Zebra

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion ~

I might have been way to happy when I saw the email from NetGalley telling me I got approved for this title, just saying. I usually hate book that deal with apocalypse themes, but this series had sucked me in right from the beginning.

I love the world that Rebecca Zanetti has created and her characters as well. Also I love how she gives us one piece of the puzzle that brings as one step closer to beating Scorpius but also it opens up a whole lot of more questions. I’m quite curious how that whole problem with Scorpius will be resolved in the future books and what characters will get their books next. I’m hoping for a particular couple that we got to meet in Justice Ascending, but whose names I can’t write without it being major spoilers.

On to the characters of Justice Ascending.
First we have Tace. I loved Tace since Mercury Striking. He has his dark and his light sides and I loved his reaction to Sami’s confession. Yes, he was pissed, but he also understood her.
Then we have Sami. She has her own head and will do what she has to do to save the ones she loves. I loved her from the beginning as well.

Those two together – they were explosive. They had their fights, but also their cute and funny moments. Truth be told, I shipped them since book one and I would have been mad had they not ended up together. Also I loved how Sami would take BS from Tace. Their fights were fun to read. We need more strong women in action books – well, in books in general.

Speaking of action, the action in this book was on point. While reading Justice Ascending, I felt like watching a good action movie on TV. On one hand I wish to be a part of this story, but on the other hand I’m glad I’m not, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive more than 2 days in this new world by Rebecca Zanetti.

On another note: I love how Rebecca Zanetti incorporates the last names of her heroes in the title of their books. I’m curious what the next book will be called.

All in all, another great addition to the series and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I hope our heroes find a cure on the way – but not to soon. I want to read another few books of the Scorpius Syndrome series first.

Rating: 4,5 stars

[Review] The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur

About the book

The Truth As He Knows It
(Perspective #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook, 289 pages
Publication Date: February 10th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Warning: Following on from the Cost of Repairs series, this book contains a closeted cop who’s looking for love, an indebted stripper who doesn’t believe he’s worthy, and a tasteful abundance of dirty guy sex. Also contains references to past physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.

review~ A big thank you to A.M. Arthur for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion ~

I’m going to start this review of with saying that though I liked the story and the writing style and the like, I also had one major issue. Some of you might think I mean the abuse part of the story, but that’s not it. In fact I liked how the abuse was handled by A.M. Arthur in this book.

No, the major problem I had was the damn insta-lust thing. Truth be told they only had sex on their second meeting, but that first meeting they were both on their “jobs”, so that doesn’t really count. I’m not even quite sure if Shane knew Noel’s name when they had sex and I’m sure that happens often with one night stands, but it kind of bothered me.

Apart from that thing, I quite enjoy The Truth As He Knows It. Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, because this book was quite dark and sad – so grab some tissues when you decide to read it – but even though some dark and rough patches Shane and Noel occasionally still got me to chuckle.

Both Shane and Noel had big issues they had to work on, but I liked seeing how they grew together as a couple and how they would tackle the next big obstacle.

Also there was this side character, Tony aka Gabe, that left me quite curious about his story. Then there was Tristan as well – Noel’s friend, who has a problem with his long term memory due to an accident. I would love to know more about his story too and maybe see him getting an HEA. I just don’t know how A.M. Arthur could possibly deal with his memory issue. I don’t really see a solution for that. Tristan was really cute though.

I look forward to reading other books by A.M. Arthur in the future and will definitely return to this series.

Rating: 4 stars

 

[Review] Off Base by Annabeth Albert

About the book

Off Base
(Out Of Uniform #1)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: January 9th 2017 by Carina Press

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I found this book on NetGalley by pure accident. I was browsing through the pages and then my mouse decided to twitch and stop on this book. I was intrigued and click on it to read the description and after reading it, I knew I had to request it. Thankfully I got accepted otherwise I would have had to wait for more than another month.

On this note, this is my very first book by Annabeth Albert and it won’t be the last one, let me tell you that.

I have this weird love for M/M books where one of the guys is totally out in the open about him being gay and the other one is still fully in the closet. In this book Pike was the one out and Zack was the one still in the closet.

Both of these guys were pretty awesome in their own ways. Pike was so compassionate and honored Zack’s wishes about coming out on his own terms and Zack was sweet and always around to listen to Pike’s rant about his teaching gig.

I loved that this book was about a gay military guy – Zack’s a SEAL – but without the typical “he’s a SEAL, don’t you forget it”-stuff that seem to take place in straight couple books. Also Pike’s teaching job at the university was a nice contrast.

Annabeth Albert’s writing style drew me in from page one and hadn’t I looked up to take a look at the clock and hadn’t I seen that it was midnight, I most definitely would have finished Off Base in one sitting, but sadly I had work in the morning. So I had to cut my reading session short and read the rest of the book right after I got of my shift.

I will absolutely read At Attention, the second book in the series, as well as Ryan and Josiah’s story Connection Error – two side characters in Off Base – I really want to find out more about how they got together. By the way I only now in the progress of writing this review found out that the Out Of Uniform series is a spin-off series of the #gaymers series. So if you read those, I’m totally confident that you will like Off Base as well. If you haven’t read those, trust me, you can read Off Base without reading the #gaymers series first.

Rating: 4,5 stars

[Review] If Santa Were A Cowboy by Melissa Cutler

About the book

If Santa Were A Cowboy
(One And Only Texas #2.5)
by Melissa Cutler

ebook
Publication Date: October 25th 2016 by Swerve
ISBN: 1250108403

This Christmas, Santa wears a Stetson.

Paul Savage loves Christmas at Briscoe Ranch Resort, when he gets to take a break from being a back country guide to play Santa in the resort’s lobby and talk to kids about toys. The last thing he expects is his high school crush to come waltzing in as his new assistant photographer, wheeling a suitcase that’s more naughty than nice.

Kelly Walker is a disaster. All she’d wanted was spice up her life by saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity, which is when the universe started pelting her with ‘no’s. So when she comes across a job listing for a holiday photographer working with the sweet, scrawny boy whose advances she’d laughed off in high school, she jumps on the chance to turn her bad Karma around by giving Paul a second chance.

Trouble is, Paul’s anything but scrawny anymore, and his cowboy swagger throws her grand plans for a loop—especially when he tempts her with a red hot proposition of his own. Kelly’s in way over her head, but as she gets swept up in the magic of Briscoe Ranch’s holiday charms—and Paul’s—could Kelly’s year of ‘no’s be leading up to the ‘yes’ of a lifetime?

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I really loved Melissa Cutler’s Bomb Squad series, so when I saw If Santa Were A Cowboy on NetGalley I had to request it, even though these two series have nothing to do with the each other.

I started it right when I got it, back in September, but I couldn’t get into it. I blamed it on me not feeling christmas feelings yet. So I pushed it a bit back in my reading schedule. I started it again yesterday, but even now – with Christmas right around the corner – I couldn’t get invested into this book and that’s really sad. Maybe I would be more interested in this story and its characters if I actually read the previous two book in this series, but I honestly don’t think so.

The main reason why I couldn’t get into this book: Kelly. I didn’t like Kelly much. I didn’t agree with her choices. She was just …. a bitch. Paul deserved a much better girl for himself.

If you’re in the mood for a romance book with a christmas theme and you don’t care for a bitchy heroine, this might be it for you. For me it was ok, but I could have done without it. I guess I stick with Melissa Cutler’s Bomb Squad series.

Rating: 2 stars

[Tour] Midnight Untamed by Lara Adrian

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We are thrilled to bring you the

Review & Excerpt Tour for

MIDNIGHT UNTAMED by Lara

Adrian, a novella in her Midnight

Breed Series brought to you by

1001 Dark Nights. Grab your copy

of this sexy novella today!

 

 

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~ Excerpt ~

Ettore seemed to feel the same awareness that she did. The heat radiating from him was palpable, his touch at the small of her back light, yet searing. She wanted to feel his hands on her everywhere, not just in comfort or reassurance, but in passion.

He cursed as his eyes met hers, his hazel irises dark but glittering with flecks of amber. “For God’s sake, don’t look at me like that, sweetheart. I’m hanging by a thread here.”

I am too.” She couldn’t resist reaching up to him, letting her hands skim the firm muscles of his chest. “I’ve been hanging by a thread since you showed up at our vineyard with my brother all those years ago, Ettore.”

His heart was thundering. His pulse slammed against her palm, hammering like a drum. He searched her gaze for a long moment, his breath rolling in deep, panting gusts.

The curse that boiled out of him was sharp, hissed between his teeth and fangs. “I wasn’t expecting any of this. My first duty is to the Order. I have a mission to carry out. Until I’m certain I’ve completed it, I shouldn’t be thinking about anything else. Not even you. Hell, especially not you.”

Of course. I understand.” She glanced away, weathering a sting she hadn’t seen coming. “Ettore, I didn’t mean to suggest—”

He took her hand and hauled her against him, silencing her with a kiss. When he drew back from her lips, his gaze had gone molten. “I have no right to be thinking about anything but my duty to the Order. That’s what I keep telling myself, Arabella. But then I look at you and none of those other things matter.”

She swallowed, watching the fire dance in his eyes. His pupils were narrowed to thin black slits, and his fangs surged even larger behind his parted lips. The sight of his transformation sped her pulse, while at her hip, the hard steel of his arousal sent a current of hot need licking through her senses and straight into her core.

I walked away once,” he snarled. “God help us both, I don’t think I can ever do it again.”

Lara Adrian’s MIDNIGHT UNTAMED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

October 12th

Hart’s Romance Pulse – Excerpt

2OCC Reviews – Review

A Fortress of Books – Review

Coffee Books Life – Review & Excerpt

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Excerpt

October 13th

Adria’s Romance Reviews – Review

Books That Hook – Review & Excerpt

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

That’s What I’m Talking About – Review

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews – Review

Hannah’s Words – Review & Excerpt

October 14th

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Majorly Delicious – Review

Tome Tender – Excerpt

Books, Baking and Other Objects of Beauty – Review

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

K&J Book Promotions – Excerpt

October 15th

Lucky 13 – Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

Diane’s Book Blog – Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 16th

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review

October 17th

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

Rantings of a Reading Addict – Review & Excerpt

SnoopDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Rock Out With Sweet Reads – Excerpt

October 18th

Booknista – Review & Excerpt

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Feeling Fictional – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews – Review

GraveTells – Excerpt

October 19th

Becky on Books – Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Review

Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Excerpt

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Review & Excerpt

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 20th

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

KatyaRath – Review & Excerpt

Knotty Girl Reviews – Review

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Bookgatherer – Excerpt

October 21st

Romancing the Readers – Review

EskieMama Reads – Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Shelf Life – Review

 

 

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About MIDNIGHT UNTAMED:

The mission was supposed to be simple. Infiltrate an enemy’s stronghold outside Rome and eliminate its leader. For a Breed warrior as lethal as Ettore Selvaggio, AKA “Savage”, stealth assassinations are only one of his many cold-hearted specialties. But the last thing Savage expects to find behind enemy lines—in his target’s bed—is a woman he once adored.

It’s been years since Savage last saw beautiful Arabella Genova. Years he’s strived to banish to his past, along with the fierce desire he once felt toward Bella . . . and the irresistible calling of her blood that stirs in him even now, despite the fact that she belongs to another male.

But when fate throws Savage and Bella together again in a race for their lives, will his long-lost love prove to be the one woman he can’t live without, or the perfect weapon to destroy him?

Amazon US | Amazon

UK | Amazon AU |  Amazon

Canada

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Direct Link: https://video214.com/play/8l51MQrU143hd56W0kagqw/s/dark

 

 

lara-adrian-headshotAbout Lara Adrian:

Lara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author ofthe Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John.

Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including the New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States.

 

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[Blast] Rendezvous With Yesterday by Dianne Duvall


The much-anticipated sequel to Dianne Duvall’s A Sorceress of His Own is here! Get the newest Gifted Ones novel (a prequel to the best-selling Immortal Guardians series) at all major e-retailers today!

About the book

rwy_book_coverRENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY
The Gifted Ones Book 2
By Dianne Duvall
Publishing Date: October 17, 2016
Special Pre-Order Discounted Price—$4.99

Modern-day bounty hunter Bethany Bennett helps her brother track two fugitives to a forest outside of Houston, Texas. But what should have been a routine apprehension of two bail skippers spirals out of control and ends in violence. After Beth and her brother are both seriously injured, a mysterious figure suddenly looms over her. And, when the smoke clears, Beth finds herself not only in another place, but in another time.   As Lord Robert, Earl of Fosterly, attempts to identify and track down the nameless enemy who has been plaguing his lands and people with violence, the most peculiar woman stumbles into his path. Small, vulnerable, yet possessed of a bold, fiery spirit and wicked sense of humor, she persists in dubbing Robert and his men members of something called a medieval reenactment group . . . until she sees his castle and labels herself mad. It seems bounty hunter Bethany Bennett has come to him from the future, bringing with her laughter and chaos, swiftly winning the hearts of his people and inspiring within him a love he thought he would never experience again. But when Robert discovers a way for her to return to her time, will the love they share be enough to keep them together?

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Now Available!

[Blog Tour] The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

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Are you ready to Meet Brock Wellington?

Order your copy today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cqtEJo

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2casLH2

iBooks: http://apple.co/2c4SmQS

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Blurb

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

Excerpt: Chapter Four

Jane was pressed so tightly against the wall she would have sworn her body was starting to blend into the wallpaper. Most people didn’t give her a second glance. Then again, she wouldn’t give herself a second glance either.

Women with fake boobs and injected lips mocked her while rich men in three-piece suits completely ignored her.

She self-consciously tugged at hem of the short black dress. In a last ditch effort to modernize the dress, or at least add a bit of spice, she’d grabbed her mother’s long pearls, wrapped them around her neck twice and called it good.

But the minute they’d arrived at the party she’d wanted to disappear. Her sisters were already semi-drunk, thanks to the vodka they’d had in the car. Against Jane’s protests they’d taken shots while she drove. And then she’d paid for parking only to hear them whine that she had parked too far away.

They’d been here for twenty minutes and already she wanted to leave, or at least sit down, but most of the available space was taken by couples talking, eating…kissing.

She was surrounded by the beautiful and rich.

The only reason her sisters had even been invited was because they were complete and total social climbers, and had managed to gain an invitation from a friend who was an heiress to some french fry company.

A waiter passed by with champagne.

She grabbed a glass and downed the entire thing. It didn’t help her nerves, but at least the bubbles semi-calmed her stomach.

Her sweaty feet slid in her too-big red pumps as she pressed harder against the wall to alleviate the ache in her toes.

The music shifted to a loud techno song as the lights went from red to a bright white, and with a gasp she covered her eyes and then blinked a few times to clear her line of vision.

The jumbled sweaty bodies moved aside as the music changed to a slow song. There was just enough of a break for her to see across the room.

Oh.” It was all she could utter, really the only word she was capable of as her breathing picked up. Without thinking, she grabbed another glass of champagne from a passing waiter, suddenly awkward. What was she supposed to do with her hands?

Thick wavy auburn hair fell in disarray over his forehead. It was lush, shiny, perfect. Were guys born with hair like that? Or was his somehow chemically engineered? His full lips pressed together in a secret smile as the equally handsome man next to him said something, then erupted in laughter.

The first man stiffened, then shook his head. His broad shoulders seemed to grow tight as a drum. A slight tic in his jaw was the only clue that he was irritated or maybe outright angry.

And then his shoulders slumped as he was handed another drink and then another.

Nervous. He must be nervous. But what could a man like that possibly have to be nervous about?

He easily towered over most of the men in attendance. Suddenly his posture changed, then he smiled.

Jane felt her mouth drop open in shock.

Dazzling.

He was…like a duke or a lord or a prince from a storybook. Clearly, she read too many romance novels, but his entire presence demanded attention; screamed authority, importance, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Yes, his virility was a tangible thing, as if she could reach out and grasp it with her fingertips.

What are you doing?” Esmeralda yelled in her right ear, interrupting her blatant sexual fantasy about a complete stranger. Great. That’s what her life had come to. And sadly? It was the most fun she’d had all night.

Jane turned to Esmeralda, prayed for patience, and answered. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

You’re so boring.” Esmeralda rolled her eyes. “No wonder you got dumped.”

Another fun fact? Esmeralda was mean when she was drunk.

The reminder of the breakup burned like acid.

It had been a year ago, not that it mattered. It still hurt that the last guy she’d dated had told her that although she was cute, she wasn’t really doing it for him anymore.

Right. Doing it.

Maybe that was because she hadn’t done anything for him or with him, and he found that lacking. But they’d only dated for a few weeks. Did normal girls do that? Put out after a few weeks? Apparently.

She wasn’t normal.

But if that was normal, maybe she was better off being strange.

Jane, are you even listening to me?” Esmeralda whined. “Essence needs you to dance next to her for a bit. I’m tired and tipsy. I want to sit. Plus your dress blends in enough that it won’t take attention away from her.”

No way. What? What had she just said?

Jane wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m sorry, what?”

Without warning, Esmeralda grabbed Jane’s hand and jerked her toward the dance floor, causing Jane to lose her footing and crash directly into Esmeralda’s back. Then, like a domino, she slammed back into Essence.

Jane opened her mouth to shout out an apology, but Esmeralda was already too drunk to listen to reason. With determination in her eyes, she reached for the pearls at Jane’s neck but grabbed the fabric of the dress instead.

Her poorly sewn dress ripped instantly, causing the fabric to slink past her strapless bra. A diagonal slit split up her thigh almost all the way to her hip. In an effort to cover herself, she took a step and tripped, thanks to her clunky shoes.

And then she fell to the floor.

Hard.

Her sisters watched in horror—but neither of them offered a hand. They were probably kicking themselves for forcing her to come. Esmeralda leaned over but missed Jane’s shoulder by a mile, grabbing her hair and giving it a tug, which only made Jane wince harder.

Both sisters were completely tanked.

And she was less than two minutes away from being trampled by the other sweaty bodies around her.

She glanced up.

And into the eyes of the man she’d just been lusting after.

Oh God, the humiliation was complete.

That one glance told her he’d seen it all. She swallowed back the thickness building in her throat. Of course the only time he’d notice her would be when she’d ripped her dress and nearly took out a few guests on her way down to the dance floor.

The crowd gathered around her.

And the sexy man disappeared—probably off in search of a girl with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect clothes.

She really should have stayed home.

Tears filled her eyes as a heel pressed into her right hand. With a jerk she tugged her hand free, struggling to get up to stand on her wobbly feet, when suddenly she was pulled to a standing position and then swept up in strong arms.

Jane’s eyes were still so blurry from unshed tears she couldn’t make out the man’s face as he carried her out of the crowd.

He smelled like heaven.

She fought the insane urge to press her face against his chest and just…close her eyes.

Because he felt safe.

Pathetic, when a stranger’s arms provided more safety than her own family. And yet he felt…right.

In a world where things for the past ten years had felt so wrong.

He felt right.

Maybe she’d had too much champagne.

Are you all right?” he whispered in a deep voice with a hint of a southern drawl. He’d brought her into a private room where the music wasn’t quite so deafening.

He set her on one of the black leather couches and shut the door, muffling the music on the other side.

Blinking, Jane glanced up and gawked, like a starry-eyed teenager. He was the same man she’d seen earlier, the one she’d been captivated by. “Yes.”

Yes?” He looked confused. His amazing eyebrows drew together, and a small line creased the center of his forehead. Even the line was gorgeous, just as gorgeous as the rest of him.

His thickly muscled body screamed power. Her hands slid down the front of his chest. Even his shirt was smooth. She didn’t realize she’d been basically petting him until his muscles tensed beneath her palm. Oh crap.

I mean, yes, I’m fine.” She tried to stand then fell back down; her stupid heel was broken. “Or I was fine, until I got trampled.”

The line in his forehead deepened. “You’re not hurt, are you?”

Jane shook her head then pressed her hand to her chest and gasped out, “My pearls!”

Wait here.” He held out his hands. “I’ll get the necklace, I’m sure it’s where you fell and—”

No.” Jane slumped, defeated. “They broke off when my sis—” She corrected herself, not wanting to claim the crazies in the other room. “They broke apart when I fell.”

The man sighed loudly and ran his fingers through his perfect hair. “I’ll talk to the club manager and see if anyone turns them in.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to give him all the many reasons why they were irreplaceable, but instead she settled with, “That’s really not necessary. It’s not your fault I was a victim of the techno craze.”

His upper lip curled. “I hate techno.”

Me too.”

Is there something I can do? Anything? You promise you aren’t hurt?”

Careful or you’re going to have me believe you got me trampled on purpose in order to trap me in a private room,” she joked as a smile tugged at her lips.

Had I known you were willing, I wouldn’t have had to go to such extremes to orchestrate it.”

He appeared stunned by his own answer.

Her breath hitched. Was he flirting with her?

His crystal blue eyes twinkled with amusement.

So…” Her voice was hoarse, like an old woman’s. Great. “I should probably get back to the party.” Why did she need to go back again? All the reasons seemed to disappear as he maneuvered around the couch and popped a bottle of champagne that had been chilling in a nearby crystal bucket.

Why don’t you and I have a drink first?” He peered around the table. “I’ll need to send for some shoes. It’s the least I can do.” His gaze heated. “Shoes are appropriate to purchase for a stranger. A dress, I’m afraid…” The corners of his mouth tilted into a sultry smile as his eyes slowly raked over the scraps of fabric barely covering her breasts. “Not so much.”

Did people do that these days? Just send for shoes? Who was this guy? “Really, it’s not necessary. I’ll just stick to the shadows so I don’t scare anyone with my limp and I’ll be okay.” She sounded more confident than she felt, and her lower lip trembled a bit. Next time she was going to hold her ground, stay home, read a book, and be plain boring Jane. This wasn’t her scene. Not by a long shot.

He leaned in close, so close she could smell his aftershave again. “A woman like you doesn’t belong in the shadows.”

Uncomfortable, she tried to make light of the situation again. “Wow, a hero and good with words. I bet you’re just a regular handful, aren’t you?”

Me?” He laughed as if the thought was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. “No, that would be my twin brothers. They’re the handfuls. I’m…” He seemed to think about it. “Just Brock.”

Well, Just Brock…” Jane held out her hand. “I’m Just Jane.”

His hand completely engulfed hers as their palms pressed against one another. He was so warm. And big.

Huge.

Huge hands. That meant something, right?

Crap, she was still shaking his hand, and he was grinning at her as if it was the funniest thing that had ever happened to him. And he was looking at her. At her eyes, not at the fact that she was half-naked on a couch, with a broken shoe.

With a jerk, she pulled her hand back and nervously reached to tuck a stray piece of hair behind her ear.

So, Brock.” Jane looked down at his shoes. That was safe. Shoes. Nothing sexy about a man’s feet, right? Except his were inside shoes that she ventured probably cost more than she’d ever see in a lifetime. “About those shoes.”

Shoes.” He repeated the word and then quickly stood. “Right, just wait here.”

He disappeared, giving her the breathing room she absolutely positively needed, only to re-appear a few seconds later.

Without shoes.

She frowned; then again, what had she expected? That he’d bang some plastic Barbie over the head with his cell phone, steal her shoes, and then toss them to Jane?

Brock studied her. “Your shoes should be here within the next fifteen minutes. I just sent my degenerate brother across the street. Saks is still open. The night is young.”

Saks?

Shoes from Saks?

She’d never owned anything from Saks. Ever. But she knew the store; didn’t every woman? Still, the most expensive thing she’d ever owned had been the pearls.

That’s really…” She waved her hand in the air and stood. “Not necessary…you can tell him that—”

Brock reached for her hand and lightly tugged her back. “Sit. It is necessary. And although I typically wait until the third date to buy a woman gifts, I think your nearly getting trampled allows me to break that rule.”

Still tense, Jane nodded and took a shaky look around the small, private room.

To new shoes?” Brock grabbed his drink and lifted it in the air toward her.

She lifted her glass and clinked it against his then took a small sip. The champagne was pink and sweet, with a tart aftertaste. “It’s good.”

You sound surprised.” Brock’s lips lifted in a smile.

She scrunched up her nose. “I’m not much of a drinker, and I typically don’t like drinks that are the same color as my underwear.”

The minute the words were out of her mouth, she froze, barely managing to suppress the urge to clap a hand over her mouth. She wanted someone to run her over with a car.

With a choke, Brock nearly spit out the sip he’d just taken. Face flushed, he stared her down and then whispered, “You’re making me regret my decision to send out for boring black shoes.”

I didn’t…I mean, pink is fine.” Stop talking, stop talking. “Not all of my underwear is pink. I have black, too.”

Brock’s lips parted with a greedy exhale, and he downed the rest of his drink. “Oh?”

Hell in a handbasket.

Why was she giving him a rundown of her lingerie drawer? As if he were a naughty Santa with a checklist in front of him, putting down little marks on the little boxes that read “red lacy thong”? Check. “Black boyshorts”? Double check.

I’m more of a boxer brief sort of guy,” he said smoothly, bringing her back to the present.

Huh?”

Too far?” He chuckled. “I figured if I knew the color of yours…I should at least show you mine.” He leaned forward.

Had he said show?

Just how drunk was he? Maybe that was the reason his eyes were zeroing in on her mouth. He blinked, and then seemed to sway a bit.

Was he okay? And why was he still staring at her mouth? Did she have something on her face?

Self-consciously, she pressed her fingertips to her lips only to have him suck in a breath and lift his right hand from his thigh as if wanting to touch the place where her fingers had just been.

Got the shoes!” a male voice yelled as Jane jerked away from Brock.

What had just happened?

Holy shit, you’re hot.”

She recognized the man from before. He was about an inch shorter than Brock, but had the same perfect auburn hair. “I’m Bentley, and since this one’s about to get married, I feel like it’s only fair to let you know that out of the two of us, I’m the single, available one, who’s also—lucky for you—been given a higher rating in the sack.”

Married?

He was getting married?

And hitting on her?

Or was she hitting on him? After all, she was the one who’d mentioned underwear. Ugh, she wanted to crawl under the table and die.

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About the Author:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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