Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When Emma St. John received her brother's letter imploring her to escape her stepfather's vengeful scheme and to trust Dakota Barringer with her life, she was willing to chance it. But... DAKOTA'S BRIDE BY CHRISTINE YOUNG FREE ON KU



Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:


BLURB:

When Emma St. John received her brother's letter imploring her to escape her stepfather's vengeful scheme and to trust Dakota Barringer with her life, she was willing to chance it. But the handsome, brooding riverboat owner Emma found in Natchez a danger of another kind. For Emma soon found herself surrendering to an unrelenting desire.

Raised by the Sioux when his parents were killed, Dakota had been betrayed once before by a white woman. He wasn't about to trust another, especially one claiming that her stepfather, a powerful U.S. senator, had framed her as a murderess. But he couldn't let Emma's intoxicating effect on him. Now Dakota would risk his very life to protect the innocent beauty who had seduced him with her tender love.

EXCERPT:

Moonless and frigid, the December night sent chills down Emma's spine. Yet she didn't stop at the lighted inn nearby, nor did she break stride when she stumbled over a rut in the muddy road. Instead, she pulled her skirts higher. A carriage raced by, hell-bent in the same direction, spitting mud as it flew past

A frantic look over her shoulder did nothing to relieve the fear. He was closing on her, forcing her from her hiding place. She stopped for a moment while she quickly shook the mud off her cape, then she turned to the little girl.

"You all right, Clare?" Emma asked.

The little girl nodded but didn't say anything, her face screwed tight with concentration, her breaths ragged and hard.

The big Mississippi paddle wheeler, due to leave in ten minutes, let out two loud, booming whistles. To Emma's frayed nerves, the sound was heart-stopping.

The wind from the docks smelled of fish and tar. When it shifted, she could make out the aroma of fresh baked scones coming from the inn. Emma gripped the tiny hand she held in her own a little tighter, and prayed that Clare could keep up the pace.

"It's only a wee bit farther. We can make it," Emma told the little girl, her sister. Half sister, she reminded herself.

Clare's father was not her own. His demonically hand­some face leering at her while he calmly explained what he meant for Emma to do in the bordello was something she'd never forget.

Clare was a tiny and very fragile seven-year old. She had loving green eyes and a long, slender nose coupled with delicate cheekbones. Emma knew that someday Clare would grow into a classic beauty.

One long blond lock of hair slipped loose from Clare's cap. The little girl pushed it away with her free hand, wrinkling her nose disgustedly.

Frost coated the road, and each hurried step caused the almost frozen mud to crunch beneath their feet. A horse and rider passed them, the man tipping his hat as he and his mount thundered by. Church bells rang out, the sound hollow and thin. It was almost six o'clock. She had five minutes to reach the boat.

A gust of wind caught her broadside and whisked the hood of her cape off the top of her head. She grabbed the soft fur and pulled the fabric back where it belonged. Distracted by the wind and her haste to reach the boat, Emma caught the toe of her shoe on a rock and balanced precariously for an instant.

She swore softly under her breath.

Had only one month passed?

No, three weeks ago her mother had died and two weeks ago she had learned the awful truth. Lawrence Stevens had slowly poisoned her mother. He had given her a small dose of arsenic each day until finally her mother took to her bed. Several days later Emma had held her mother's hand while she breathed her last.

Emma would never have known about the murder if she hadn't overheard Stevens speaking in harsh whispers with a friend of his. There were other things said and promised, things Emma had not wanted to acknowledge.

Disbelief and denial had caused her to waste precious time. Seven days had come and gone since she'd had her last horrible encounter with her stepfather. It was an encounter that had left her with no doubts that everything she'd heard was the god-awful truth. Stevens had meant to sell her to a whorehouse. Still, she'd had a difficult time believing the extent of Lawrence Stevens's depravity. But when he'd installed her in Madame leBon's bordello, she realized too late that her life was in grave jeopardy.

And Clare, sweet, sweet Clare, had understood all she'd told her and perhaps more. With the eyes of a child, Clare had somehow sensed the evil that surrounded her father long before anyone else did.

Five long days and nights they'd spent on the run. Clare had not complained. No matter how exhausted or hungry she was, the little girl had pressed on, understanding the imminent danger that faced Emma. Clare had somehow known that Emma had to get as far away from Lawrence as possible.



This incredible romance is one I positively fell in love with and is good enough to read again and again.
Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
4 Cups
I can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a book: Dakota’s Bride took over my weekend, and even now, am wishing to go peruse it one more time…

Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon Long and Short Reviews

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TELL TALE TUESDAY: Trent Feldor is a Seeker vampire who protects human females from Rogue vampires who would take them as mates. BLOOD SCENT BY MAGGIE MUNDY



Title: Blood Scent
Author: Maggie Mundy
Email: maggiemundy@bigpond.com

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


BLURB:

Trent Feldor is a Seeker vampire who protects human females from Rogue vampires who would take them as mates. Kellie is a reporter who wants to make the front page of the Adelaide newspaper by finding the Parklands Killer. Instead she stumbles straight into a vampire fight and she is the trophy being fought for.

Kellie has never let anyone into her life since her mother's death, and isn't going to let the mysterious Trent get under her skin. As for Trent, he may have found the one woman he could love but he will have to stop Rogue vampires who want to kidnap her, and vampire hunters who want to kill him.


EXCERPT


Kellie loved being a reporter, but she was certain she wouldn't make the front page with this story. As the balding, creepy and definitely weird Peter Campbell waffled on, it became clear he didn't have a clue about the Parkland Killer. She covered her mouth with her notepad to hide her yawn as he blabbed about vampires. She had no one to blame but herself for agreeing to meet with this loopy guy, but at least they were in a coffee shop with lots of people around so he couldn't get too odd, she hoped.
"The police don't deal with these monsters, but together, we can. We can show the world what they really are." Peter pushed his glasses back up his greasy nose with his stubby fingers. They slid back down again.
He rubbed his fingertips together as if he were sprinkling salt. Kellie couldn't remember if vampires were scared of salt, or was that demons? Maybe she should order some garlic bread, just to be on the safe side. She stifled a giggle. Did this guy think she'd kill the undead with a whack on the head from her notepad and stake them with her pen?
"We're not alone, Kellie. We've other groups around the world and they're all trying to get proof, but I believe we're the closest." Peter reached his hand across the table towards her.
Kellie moved her hand away, hoping he'd get the hint before she emptied her hot coffee onto his lap. Kellie reckoned she would walk in and her editor would raise her eyes and laugh at this story, and she'd be lucky to make any page in the paper at this rate.
She'd humor him until she finished the coffee he'd paid for. "So what makes you think this isn't the serial killer the police believe is responsible?" She doodled on her notepad as she pretended to write.
"One of our people saw the last killing. He saw its fangs and the way the victim's throat was ripped open. What's more, we believe we know where it might attack next." Peter licked his lips as his eyes glistened with excitement.
"So you want me to go and stake out a vampire. Hey, that's funny," Kellie laughed while Peter scowled. "So if I go to the Parklands this evening, just how are you going to stop it killing me when I get there?"
"As yet we don't have a way to kill one, but we can incapacitate and capture it." Peter glanced around and wriggled in his seat as if it had become too hot.
Kellie shook her head and frowned as he suspiciously eyed the two old ladies sitting next to them. Did he really think they were secret agents trying to listen in? Kellie doodled a smiling face with fangs.
So much for this story being her breakthrough, but at the moment she had nothing else. She could ask Kevin from work to go with her so he could take photos if anything happened. Being in a coffee shop with this Peter Campbell guy in daylight was one thing, but meeting him and his mates at night was another. A weird vampire cult in reserved Adelaide had to be worth some space in the paper though, otherwise she'd be back reporting on weddings, births, funerals and dog shows.


Monday, April 24, 2017

MYSTERY MONDAY: INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM: He’s a father’s worst nightmare. BANNER'S BONUS BY CAROLE ANN LEE



Title: Banner's Bonus
Author: Carole Ann Lee
Email: carolescorner@aol.com

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM: He’s a father’s worst nightmare.  Yet cargo pilot, Nick Banner, is Jonathan Loring’s only hope of getting his daughter, Tressa, safely off-planet and out of harm’s way.

Within the tight confines of Banner’s ship, Tressa battles a girlhood crush gone dangerous.  As a sheltered teen, she secretly worshipped the hotshot cargo pilot from afar.  Even his carnal reputation seemed romantic. But, now, those old feelings are unsettling.

Banner misses nothing, particularly her coy glances.  Yeah, he’s noticed, and sexual tension smolders.  Danger stalks them across the galaxy and when Tressa is captured by pirates, Banner finds himself willing to sell his soul to free her.   



EXCERPT

Without so much as turning to address her, Nick’s satin baritone calmly broke the silence. "It’s a damned good thing we don’t have any more days left on this run. With your lengthy showers everyday you’ve managed to put our more-than-sufficient water supply into the red."

"I have not been taking lengthy showers. For your information, I’ve been very conservative."

Nick smiled. "Yeah, well we’ve got a flashing indicator here that says differently."

Tressa cast a glance at the pulsing light on the console, then made her way to her seat. "I can assure you that’s not my fault."

"No of course it’s not. It’s TiMar’s." Reaching overhead, he flipped a series of switches and waited for a cluster of lights to turn green.

"It appears to me," Tressa said as she settled into her chair, "that once again your immaturity is at fault."

"Is that right." He continued monitoring the controls.

"Yes. Did you ever stop to think that the cause of the low water supply might be all those cold showers you keep taking?" The instant the words were out Tressa regretted them.

His head came around with a slow grin, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was about to be had for lunch.

"You think that’s what I’ve been doing in there?"

With heat scorching her cheeks, Tressa looked away, refusing to respond.

Taking a cold shower is probably the least of your busy little activities behind a closed door. A silent voice added.

"Tressa? I asked if that’s what you--"

"I really don’t care what you do, Banner." Glancing down, she feigned sudden interest in her fingernails.

"Ah, but you’ve wondered, haven’t you?"

She ignored him.

There’s nothing to wonder about, flyboy.

"Haven’t you, Tressa?" he taunted. "You had it all figured out."

She slid him a retiring look.

He grinned. "Besides, why the devil would I be taking cold showers?"

Refusing to rise to the bait, Tressa began examining one particular fingernail with avid interest. "I couldn’t care less why," she mumbled beneath her breath.

"What was that? You say something?"

Without looking up she replied, "The low water supply is just another classic example."

"Of what?"

"Your lack of self-control, of course."

Silence.

You just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?

Tressa didn’t dare look at him. He was spoiling for a fight and she had just delivered the first punch.

And if you don’t stop, you’re going to find yourself out-gunned on a subject you’ll wish to stars you hadn’t opened.

"Ya wanna know what I was really doin’, Irish?"

Feigning boredom, she turned her sights to the small port window. "No thanks, Banner, you can keep the details to yourself."

"Allow me to satisfy your curiosity by enlightening you on several ways in which-"

"I’m not interested."

"But I’d be happy to educate you on some of the--"

"How much longer before we get there, do you think?" she asked, releasing a heavy sigh.

Satisfied and grinning, Nick turned back to the control panel. "Never challenge me, Irish--either directly or by insinuation--and particularly on a subject you know so precious little about." With a wink he added, "You’ll lose every time. I guarantee it."

Tressa didn’t respond, at last heeding the silent voice of reason.


5 Stars--Naomi of Fallen Angel Reviews
Banner's Bonus totally blew me away! I absolutely loved every page.


Linnea Sinclair--Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author 
What a wild ride! Futuristic romance fans will love the passion and adventure in Lee's Banner's Bonus. Nick Banner can swagger through the stars with the best of them!