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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Knight of Sherwood by N.B. Dixon ❤️ Book Tour & eBook Giveaway ❤️ (LGBTQ+ Historical Romance)



Robin returns to England after four years fighting in the holy land. On arriving at Locksley, he discovers that Guy of Gisborne, his most hated enemy, has been made Sheriff of Nottingham. Forced to flee into Sherwood, Robin sets himself up as champion of the poor.

But Robin has a secret. His feelings for his friend Will Scathelock have deepened, but to acknowledge the truth would mean facing up to his past. Meanwhile Lady Marian Fitzwalter, heiress to the vast Huntingdon estate is determined to claim Robin for her own.


The leader of the men at arms brought up his crossbow. “You will hold your tongue.”

In one swift movement, Robin had nocked an arrow to his own bow and fired. It struck the crossbow, knocking it clean out of the man’s hand and forcing it to discharge its bolt into the ground. Several watching villagers gasped. The man was rubbing his hand. Robin’s arrow had caught it in passing, and a trickle of blood ran down his wrist.

“I don’t like people who threaten my friends,” Robin said conversationally. “We haven’t been introduced.”

“My name is Hugo Beaumont, captain of the sheriff’s guard. You are trespassing.”

“I am not the trespasser here. I am Robin, rightful Lord of Locksley. These are my lands. I believe it is you who are here unlawfully.”

“The Locksley estate was granted to my brother by Prince John,” Katrina said, speaking for the first time.

“Was that before or after he did for Lord Locksley?” Will asked.

For the first time, Robin saw Gisborne’s composure slip. Evidently, he had hoped Robin would not have learned the truth about his father.

Robin fitted another arrow to his bow and aimed it directly at Gisborne’s heart. “I should kill you where you sit.”

“But you won’t.” Katrina’s face twisted in a sneer. “If you harm my brother, Prince John will unleash such suffering on this village that they will rue the day you ever returned. You have no power here, Robin of Locksley. Even that title is not yours. The old Lord Locksley disinherited you four years ago. You have nothing.”

Angry murmurs rose from the villagers, but at a signal from Hugo Beaumont, the men at arms all drew their swords, pointing them at the crowd. This had the effect of hushing them instantly.

“It seems war has cost you your sanity, Locksley,” Gisborne observed. “You are clearly a danger to both our prince and this country. I have no hesitation, therefore, in arresting you.”

Father Tuck stepped forward. “My Lord, I urge you to reconsider. This man has committed no crime.”

“Hold your tongue, Priest,” Hugo ordered. He made a sign to his men. As one, they rode forward.

There were shouts and screams among the villagers as they scattered before the soldiers. Alan tried to go to Robin, but was seized and thrown to the ground. Jane rushed to help him, but was sent sprawling herself.

A soldier rode at a group of women and children, who scrambled desperately to avoid him. One little boy tripped, his hand torn loose from his mother’s. Without pausing, the soldier rode him down. His mother’s scream was lost amid the tumult.

Will engaged another soldier, fending off his clumsy attack with ease. The man was startled that one he had taken for a mere peasant knew how to use a sword, and the momentary distraction cost him his life.

Robin loosed his arrow. The soldier who had attacked Alan fell. Robin loosed a second and the man on the horse who had ridden at the crowd toppled to the ground with a garbled cry.

“Stop!” Hugo Beaumont shouted.

Everyone froze. A stunned silence replaced the chaos as all eyes fell on the three men lying in the mud. The mother of the boy who had been ridden down cradled him in her arms, her quiet sobs the only sound to be heard.

Robin nocked yet another arrow and trained it on the captain. “I can kill every man of yours, Gisborne, including your captain. Lower your weapons, all of you!”

Hugo spurred his horse towards him, but Katrina screamed, “No!”

“Listen to her, Captain. Order your men to drop their weapons.”

Hugo glared at Robin, but he had no choice, and he knew it. He made a sign to his men, and as one, they let their weapons fall.

“Very good, now, stay there, nice and quiet, until I have gone on my way.”

While Gisborne looked on with impotent fury, Will grabbed the bridle of one of the riderless horses. The animal pranced, but a calming word from Will soothed it. When the horse was quiet, Will mounted and held down an arm to Robin.

Robin mounted behind him and turned to his enemy. “You haven’t heard the last of this, Gisborne. You will wish you’d stayed in exile by the time I’m through.”

Will set heels to the horse’s sides and kicked it to a gallop.


   


Tales From the Hollow Collection by Cecile Teller and Fae Harlow ❤️ Book Tour & Print Book Giveaway ❤️ (Vampire Romance)



Tales from the Hollow is a collection of two novellas that take place in the town of Fey Hollow.

Blood Falls by Fae Harlow
Vampire Christopher Brandon keeps mortal Hazel Abbot at a comfortable distance. The accident-prone human is an unlikely potential, and while he can't allow her to come to harm, he's desperate to maintain the space between them. When danger begins to stalk Fey Hollow and Hazel appears to be at its center, they must trust in the bond they share or risk losing more than their lives.

Blood, Skin, and Bones by Cecile Tellier
Crow shifter Odoacer has spent the last twenty five years working and living in Fey Hollow. Despite the usual Vampire presence he has had no excitement other than collecting his valuable treasures. That is until he meets Sive during the Hollow's supernatural holiday gathering. Part Witch, Part Vampire, and all trouble she has come to town to celebrate and inadvertently may have brought chaos down on all Odoacer holds dear. Together they will work together to combat a darkness that is threatening to take over the town, and possibly find more than they bargained for in each other, if they can survive.


from Blood Falls

"A slow, sensual nuzzle, a barely discernible nip, her scent filling his head, stealing his careful control. Lips parted, so near the air escaping her lungs brushed over and into him.
“May I kiss you?”
The words didn’t penetrate the sensuous fog for a moment before distrust flooded the connection muddying the sterling color.
“Why?"
“Are you not the least bit curious?”
“About kissing you?” she asked, “oddly no.”
“You are my potential.”
“I’m the woman you’ve avoided except when absolutely necessary for four years. What
changed?”
Her words, the easy denial of desire surprised Christopher. What changed? Nothing, he
still wanted no part of the potential bond between them, had no intention of completing it in truth, but the taste of her lips, the sweetness of her kiss he desperately wanted. A bond could be held in stasis, left incomplete, fed a meager diet nearly but never enough.
“Nothing has changed, but I am tired of running, tired of denying, and what harm is there in a kiss?”
Hazel’s eyes slid closed, and she pressed back into the tree. The long elegant line of her throat drew his gaze. The choice was hers, and Hazel lifted her chin, lips parted in invitation. Christopher closed the distance.
Warm breath dusted across his lips as he coaxed with the lightest of touches. Heat spiraled from the point of contact landing in the pit of his stomach. Hazel’s lips parted beneath his, the hot wet interior begged for exploration. Her hands tightened on his arms as he deepened the kiss.”
Excerpt from Blood, Skin, and Bones:
“Well that’s good, I don’t want to have raccoon breath after I break my rule.” She couldn’t resist any longer, the draw she felt to him was strong. Sliding her legs over his she sat on his lap straddling him.
His cheeks warmed slightly and she could have sworn he blushed. “Which rule are you breaking? Not that I’m complaining.” His hands slid to her hips and squeezed gently.
“My kissing on the first date rule, I’m going to grandfather this date in as the second date since I spent the night already.” Leaning forward she touched her lips to his softly and shivered at how something so simple could light up her senses.
Acer’s mouth was instantly devouring hers. She felt his fingers tighten on her hips and moaned into his mouth. Acer took that opportunity to slide his tongue between her lips and swirl it against hers. The urge to press down against him was high and his encouraging groan as she did only increased the need. Acer broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers. “I don’t know how many rules you are willing to break tonight, but if it is only the one I do not know that continuing this path is wise.”
“You’re right, I’m sorry if I’m being a tease. I didn’t mean for things to go that far...though I don’t regret a moment.” She was seconds away from breaking every rule she had when it came to him. Sive knew that she had those rules in place for a reason though and didn’t want to deviate too much even if he was heat on two legs.
“I do not regret, I can be patient.” He ran his nose against hers and kissed her lips gently, sipping at her bottom lip and nipping it lightly.
The whimper that left her lips was neither dignified nor her usual controlled response. “I’m worried that I won’t be able to be. You’re too good at this, you ought to come with a warning label.”


   

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Healed by You by Christy Pastore ❤️ Release Blitz & Gift Card Giveaway Giveaway ❤️ (Contemporary Romance)



Some relationships go far beyond the Hollywood backdrop.

Fake romantic relationships have always been a thread woven into the fabric of Hollywood. In the old days, studios played the matchmaking game simply to promote their movies. Today the game remains the same, only now the stakes are higher and the players ever changing.

The two of us knew what rock bottom looked like and we needed a way out of the rubble before it destroyed our careers and our reputations.

From multiple staged paparazzi appearances and charity polo matches in the Hamptons to romps in the Caribbean and even being seen together at a high-profile celebrity wedding, the plan was simple—an agreement that would benefit all involved.

But, falling in love was never part of the plan.

And for two famous friends, one summer in the Hamptons could change everything.





A touching book from such a cool perspective!

I can't recall ever reading a story told from the "haves." The characters in the books I've read have always been "have nots," can't pay their rent, etc. But everyone here was shiny and famous and it was just really interesting to read from that side of the tracks!

Grady's story was really heartbreaking. I felt for him, and that crazy things kept happening to him, and I couldn't wait to read how his whole situation got resolved.

I enjoyed Harlow because, although she was famous, she really didn't come across as entitled or snooty. She, too, had a rough time, and I couldn't wait to see how things would play out.

This was my first book by Christy, but I truly enjoyed her writing and I'd love to read more by her!

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)




   



The Queen by Skye Warren ❤️ Book Blitz & Gift Card Giveaway ❤️ (Contemporary Romance)



THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET!

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood's dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I've always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city's throne.




I flinch, glad he can’t see me across two thousand miles. Even working in the kitchens most nights only covers my food, my textbooks. Not the tuition bill. “You’re the one who wanted him to work for you. You’re the one who made him the stake in our last game.”
“And you’re the one who lost,” he says lightly.
“Do you know where he is?”
“Of course. Like you said, he works for me. I would be a careless employer if I let my men go wandering off, gambling and racking up debt and questioning their loyalty to me.”
A shiver runs through me. “Then where is he?”
“He’s a grown-up, Penny. Like you are now. He’s responsible for himself. You only need to worry about your studies. I’m sure Algebraic Topology is taking up plenty of your focus.”
It’s one of my courses this semester. How does he know that?
“Stop playing with me.”
“Why should I?” he says with a soft laugh. “It’s so much fun.”
Frustration stings my eyes, hot and damp. I look up at the wide-open sky, willing myself not to cry. There are a million stars visible here, most of the land owned by Smith College or one of the other campuses. So much land, so much pride. There aren’t buildings climbing on top of other buildings, as if they might sink into the concrete ground if they don’t. There aren’t glass towers reaching to an endless black sky.
“I’m never coming back,” I say abruptly.
His laugh falls silent. “I know.”
“I hate it there. I hate Tanglewood and being powerless. And most of all I hate you.”
The last part is a lie, because I don’t hate him. I’m drawn to him; I’m repelled by him. It’s far too complex a relationship, an equation I’ve never been able to write. It makes me wonder if I’m lying about the other parts—if maybe some twisted part of me misses home.
If some twisted part of me misses being powerless, too.
“Ah, Penny,” he says, sounding infinitely weary. “I hate you too.”
The words shock me, but the hurt inside shocks me more. He shouldn’t be able to wound me. Three years away from home, growing up, growing strong. It should have been enough armor to protect against anything he could say to me. But the arrow sinks deep, proving that I’ll never be able to escape him.
“What did I do to you?” I ask, quiet, in a voice like I’m six years old again. Like I’m speaking to the wild boy I found by the lake, one I lured into my trailer like a wolf.
He answers the same way, a surly teenage boy, fierce and vulnerable at once. “You made me care. You made me want, when I needed to leave. You made me feel, when I would have preferred to die. You brought me back to life.”
And I condemned him to torture. That’s what happened when he sacrificed himself so that I could stay safe. Two children with so few choices. “I’m sorry,” I whisper.
“Don’t worry. I got my revenge, after all.”
My blood runs cold, almost subzero at the words. There’s only one person left in my sad little family. One person he could hurt. “Did you hurt him?”
“By giving him a job when he couldn’t hold one down? By paying him enough that his daughter could escape the city, could go to a fancy college instead of becoming a corner-store whore? Yes, I’ve been horrible to him. A monster.”
“Then why isn’t he answering his phone?”
In the pause I can picture him in a three-piece suit, reclining in one of his ridiculously expensive leather chairs. Some amber liquid in a crystal-cut glass. “Don’t come back,” he says, his voice grim. “You made it out of here. Let that be enough.”
A soft click ends the connection, leaving me bereft.
And more worried than before.
Something is happening in Tanglewood, something bad enough for my father not to call, something horrible enough that even Damon Scott has warned me away. I look up at the infinite stars, but they’re dimmer than before. The whole world muted. It wasn’t a new life that I found so far from home. It was a long dream, and now I’m painfully awake.