Cover reveal – Slip of the Tongue by Jessica Hawkins

Slip of the Tongue Ebook Cover

Release Date: February 25, 2016

So excited to be sharing this cover with you! Jess is a seriously talented author and it’s my pleasure to share her new release. You’ll have a wait a little while, but it’ll be worth it!

BLURB
Sadie Hunt isn’t perfect – but her husband is. Nathan Hunt has her coffee waiting every morning. He holds her hand until the last second. He worships the Manhattan sidewalk she walks on. Until one day, he just…stops. And Sadie finds herself in the last place she ever expected to be. Lonely in her marriage.

When rugged and sexy Finn Cohen moves into the apartment across the hall, he and Sadie share an immediate spark. Finn reveals dreams for a different life. Sadie wants to save her marriage. Their secrets should keep them apart, not ignite a blistering affair. But while Sadie’s marriage runs colder by the day, she and Finn burn hotter.

Her husband doesn’t want her anymore. The man next door would give up everything to have her.

Find Slip of the Tongue on Goodreads

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

AUTHOR LINKS
Amazon ¦ Facebook ¦ Website ¦ Twitter ¦Mailing List
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Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

ninjaBook: Happily Ever Ninja

Series: Knitting in the City, #5

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 19 January, 2016

Review by: Onnica

 

Blurb:

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband – the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer – is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone – Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except…not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

Why you should read it: I have been waiting ever so patiently for a new Penny Reid release and wasn’t disappointed. Her books are always quirky, well-observed and downright funny, but this one really took me on a journey I did not see coming! I was expecting a domestic story about a heroine who is in danger of fading away under the daily grind of drudgery. Instead, I got taken on a mission to another continent, which included danger and adventure along the way. At the same time, we got a clear picture of a marriage in trouble – the fact that marriage can’t thrive on love alone. It takes WORK. It was smart and I found myself identifying with some of the issues in the book.

What you might not enjoy: Greg is hard work – he is so convinced that he’s right all the time that I wanted to thump him! For such an intelligent man, he can’t see what’s in front of him. His wife is struggling and he isn’t helping the situation. That’s the point of the story: he’s partly to blame, but so is Fiona – the two of them need to make changes if their relationship is to survive. It was a very thought-provoking read.

Rating: 4/5 – for a smart, real look at a marriage under the microscope – it kept me guessing and by the end of all the drama, I felt an immense sense of relief!

Love was never enough, not without mutual respect and a great deal of drudgery and effort. And even then, it wasn’t enough. Wanting each other, being open to change, pushing each other to improve and grow – for the better – working to deserve each other, was the key.

I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Book: I Wish You Were Mine

Series: An Oxford novel #2

Author: Lauren Layne

Release date: 2 February 2016

 

Basic story: Jackson Burke is re-adjusting (badly) to life off the football field. As Oxford’s newest health and fitness writer, he should be settling in and making an effort to get to know his new colleagues. Instead, despite several attempts from the Oxford crew to welcome him, he prefers his solitude and brooding. The car accident that ended his illustrious career months ago still haunts him. A messy divorce has left Jackson jaded and determined to get back to football, if only as a coach.

Mollie Carrington knows that her ex-brother-in-law, Jackson has been in New York for a while. What she doesn’t understand is why he won’t answer her calls or emails. They used to be best friends, always having the other’s back. Mollie always had a crush on Jackson, even though he was completely in love with her sister Madison. She was just glad of his support. So if he’s in a funk about his new situation, she’ll be the one to get him out of it.

Jackson always saw Mollie as his little sister and listened to her when it seemed Madison was too busy or too self-involved to bother. The woman he now sees is far from that awkward girl. The more time they spend together, the more obvious the mutual attraction becomes. The choice is a difficult one: should Mollie remain the loyal sister she’s always been, or should she put her own happiness first for once?

Why you should read it: I’m a huge fan of this Oxford series and the Stiletto series, which feature some of the same characters. Jackson and Mollie are a well-paired couple dealing with a manipulative sister/ex-wife, while trying to do the right thing. There was plenty of sexual tension and some great scenes featuring characters from Stiletto and the other Oxford men. It’s always a pleasure to reconnect with these characters. I’m totally invested in them now.

What you might not like: Jackson isn’t the nicest of heroes, it has to be said. He’s grumpy, slow to go after what he wants and the way he deals with his ex and Mollie will have you shaking your head at times. However, there wasn’t manufactured drama in this book – it could have taken a very predictable route, but fortunately it didn’t. Mollie also could have been a total doormat, but she really came into her own as a capable, independent woman.

Rating: So all in all, I give I Wish You Were Mine 3/5 for a satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable tale.

Here’s an excerpt: 

“I thought I might find you out here,” he said quietly as he took a sip of his own champagne.

Mollie snuck a look out of the corner of her eye. He’d come looking for her? She hadn’t thought anyone had noticed she’d slipped away.

“I messed up the toast,” she said quietly.

“Nah,” he said, stretching his long legs out in front of him and slouching down a bit to get comfortable. “Just think how many people you educated on the mating ritual of parasitic worms. They should be thanking you.”IWYWM_17

Mollie groaned. “It was supposed to be romantic. I did a paper about them for my systematics and biotics diversity final. They’re unusual because they’re bonded for life. Most organisms sleep around or, you know, the male dies after mating—”

Jackson winced, and Mollie wished she could wither and die just like a male bee.

Mollie knew she had lots of useless trivia in her head, but she didn’t normally go spouting it out like this. Not that she was a smooth talker or anything, but she was usually pretty quiet and normal, if a bit nerdy.

But tonight she felt . . . off. Starting with the fact that the dress Madison had picked for her was the exact color of Mollie’s complexion, so she looked like a mole rat. And then there was the fact that she’d tripped a bit as she’d been going down the aisle, courtesy of the five-inch stilettos her sister had insisted on.

Add in an awkward maid-of-honor speech where she’d gone on for a good five minutes about Schistosoma mansoni worms and how they mated for life, just like the bride and groom, and . . . oh God. Why had nobody stopped her?

Mollie scrunched down on the bench with a moan as she took a sip of champagne. “Madison’s going to kill me.”

Madison was in a mood anyway. She’d been a bridezilla from the moment Jackson had put a ring on it, but Mollie had figured when the actual day came around, her sister would relax.

Nope.

She’d been pissed about the flowers being ivory instead of true white to match her dress. Had bitched about the fact that Lily, one of her bridesmaids, had styled her hair in a way that was too close to the bride’s style.

Then Madison had vented about how the bracelet Jackson’s mother had shyly presented as Maddie’s “something old” was dumpy.

That one had gotten under Mollie’s skin. Mrs. Burke was the closest thing to a mother that either of them had. Their own mother had died of an overdose years ago, and Mollie would have given a kidney to have a surrogate as lovely and kind as Jackson’s mom.

“Maddie won’t kill you,” Jackson said, putting an arm around the back of the park bench and smiling down at her. “She loves you, even if she doesn’t get your whole triple-major, science-camp vibe.”

Mollie withheld a snort. That was an understatement. She loved her sister, but the closest Madison ever got to science was her monthly chemical peel.

Still, Mollie felt a fierce need to make sure that Jackson Burke knew she was an adult. “I’m twenty. I do not go to science camp.”

He lifted an eyebrow, and Mollie pointed her champagne flute at him. “Okay, I used to go to science camp. But I’m not the one who used the word ‘lactation’ in relation to a mermaid.”

“Hey, you’re not the only one who took bio in college.”

“But you were a communications major. Journalism,” she said.

He gave her a surprised look, and Mollie looked away, mentally kicking herself. That was exactly what Jackson Burke didn’t need—another groupie stalker.

She snuck another glance and saw that he’d slumped even farther, matching her own crappy posture, and Mollie was surprised to see that he looked . . . exhausted.

“Are you okay?” she asked. Because she couldn’t not ask. Not after she’d seen the weariness around his eyes, the slight tension in his shoulders.

Jackson turned his head so their eyes locked and he frowned before returning his attention to the mermaid. “Nobody ever asks me that.”

Her heart squeezed at the lost note in his voice. It was strange to think of someone as big and important as Jackson Burke being lonely, but somehow . . . somehow she knew he was. Even here, among all these people, he was somehow alone. Apart.

Like her.

Submissive Seductions by Christine d’Abo

Book: Submissive Seductions

Author: Christine d’Abo

Genre: BDSM

Review by: Onnica

Release date: 16 February 2016 (previously released as Dom for Sale in 2013)

 

 

 

Blurb: Sometimes getting what you want…makes you crave something more.

Purchasing a Dom from a charity auction was the wildest thing Liz had ever done. The chance to bring her secret fantasy to life, to be a submissive—even just for one night—was worth any price. And Gareth was everything she wanted in a Master. He touched, he taught, he tantalized. He opened her world to pleasures she’d never imagined. But was it enough?

After one night turned into a blurred-line relationship, Liz’s feelings for Gareth went beyond desire. Yet the kink, no matter how hot, had her wondering if she could ever have a normal relationship. Her Dom was a man with a tragic past and he’d put rules in place from the start. If Liz chose to break them would she lose the intense passion she’d just discovered—as well as the man she loved?..


Why you should read it: It’s a fun premise and if you like this genre, then there is plenty of kink to sink your teeth into. Liz is a determined heroine – she wants Gareth to be her Dom and isn’t about to be derailed! Gareth is an interesting hero too. Dominant yes, but not outside of the playroom – he has stuff to work through, but he makes Liz’s welfare his priority, as every good Dom should.

What you may not like: Despite being really excited about the blurb, it took me quite a while to engage with the story and the plot. It seemed to be subdued somehow. While the chemistry worked between Liz and Gareth while they were at play, I wasn’t convinced of their attraction at other times. Somewhere there was a failure to launch for me. The story was fun but failed to hit my pleasure centres. It was just OK.

Rating: 2/5 – I just didn’t feel or believe their love. I needed to feel it rather than just read it. This one didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid. Maybe a I was still on a high from reading 30 Days, which was perfect.

The Lessons by Elizabeth Brown

Book: The Lessons

Series: Off-limits #1

Author: Elizabeth Brown

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story:  Natalie Reese’s carefully-planned life has gone slightly askew. It was simple: she should have been married to boyfriend #2 right now, expecting their first child, but somewhere after boyfriend #1 being gay, then looking after her mother for three years, romance took a back seat. What’s more, her virginity is very much intact.

Feeling like a 30-year-old freak,  Natalie resolves to start over in San Francisco and get some help for her problem. Because obviously it’s a problem right? Men have been running for the hills once they find out her status. So the idea forms to enlist the help of a sexual surrogate. Bye bye virginity.

The moment Ryan Andrews lays eyes on Natalie, he knows the situation will be anything but ordinary. He’s immediately drawn to her and that’s certainly not an appropriate  reaction to a patient. He is determined to help her while keeping his feelings to himself. Of course, when his patient is learning about intimacy and sexual congress from him, the lines are sure to blur, aren’t they?

Why you should read it: Well, there’s the cover for a start. Hot! The meet cute between Ryan and Natalie really was enjoyable – and refreshing. It’s hard to be original in romantic fiction, but the whole premise for me worked well. The sexual chemistry between the pair was red-hot from the start. Natalie is complex and engaging – with a great demeanour and sense of humour. Ryan was quietly intense, with his own story that explained why he was the way he was. I loved the story, the dialogue and the unfolding of events.

What you may not like: I felt like there was a rush to finish the book – the last quarter seemed to zip by and there were some issues with tenses and grammar inconsistency. That aside, it was a truly enjoyable and amusing story with some sexy characters that I rooted for 100%.

Rating: 4/5 for a surprising and sexy story. Would definitely recommend it.

New Year, new books!

Happy new year! I hope you had a great break. I spent the holidays relaxing and managed to read some great books (and if I’m honest) not so great books! So, I thought I’d share some of the releases that I’m most looking forward to in the next two months…

 

January

wicked Wicked Lust – Sawyer Bennett (out 5 Jan)

Cain Bonham is as big and bad as they come. After serving in the Marines, he’s returned home to Wyoming and now works as head of security at the exclusive sex club, The Wicked Horse. His job is to protect not only the patrons, but to zealously guard the secret existence of the club itself.

Sloane Preston is all about discovering secrets. As an undercover reporter, she’s determined to reveal the truth behind the facade of The Wicked Horse and expose it
for all the world to see. She just didn’t count on her pathway into the club coming at the hands of one gorgeously scarred and bad ass bouncer who manages to easily possess her body
and soul.

While Cain’s not looking for anyone to catch his eye, Sloane did it all the same, and he’s not bemoaning the fact that she’s as wickedly kinky as he is. As both get caught up in the sinful fantasies that only The Wicked Horse can create, secrets and loyalties will be tested and hearts will risk being broken.

 

first timeFor the First Time – anthology featuring Alessandra Torre (out 12 Jan)

You never forget your first time…

A brand new anthology of original, never-before-read stories from today’s hottest authors, including:

Alessandra Torre, Kim Karr, Jen Frederick, Alexa Riley, Lynda Chance, Sarah Castille, Nina Lane, CJ Roberts, Anna Zaires, Nikki Sloane, Cynthia Sax, Avery Aster, Pam Godwin, Skye Warren, Julia Sykes, Cynthia Rayne, Jenika Snow, Debra Presley, Shoshanna Evers, Tamsen Parker, and Nina Levine!

From young heartbreak to a virginity auction, from the chance meeting to the happily ever after, twenty-one exclusive stories explore first love in all its forms. This set includes almost 200,000 words of steamy encounters and sweet
romance.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]The Baller – Vi Keeland (18 Jan)

The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.

And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.

Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after
And this one is ours.

 

unconventionalUnconventional – Avery Aster (26 Jan)

They are the best of friends and the greatest of lovers. Two men and one woman, searching for fortune and fame, bound together by an eroticism their money and power can’t buy them. Luigi, the romantic alpha hunk. Rocco, the exotic
bisexual. Jemma, the insatiable beauty who possesses them both.

From their first rendezvous in Milan, the three set out on a wicked course, jet-setting from the kinky underground sex clubs of Berlin, to the lavish palaces of Moscow, to New York’s high society in pursuit of pleasure. They have only each other to care for. That is…until a baby comes along and changes their destiny. But which of them is the father? And will they continue their poly relationship or give in to convention?

 

February

A lnaked couple embracing each other in the darkness

I Wish you were Mine – Lauren Layne (2 Feb)

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

 

SubmissiveSubmissive Seductions – Christine d’Abo (16 Feb)

Sometimes getting what you want…makes you crave something more

Purchasing a Dom from a charity auction was the wildest thing Liz had ever done. The chance to bring her secret fantasy to life, to be a submissive—even just for one night—was worth any price. And Gareth was everything she wanted in a Master. He touched, he taught, he tantalized. He opened her world to pleasures she’d never imagined. But was it enough?
After one night turned into a blurred-line relationship, Liz’s feelings for Gareth went beyond desire. Yet the kink, no matter how hot, had her wondering if she could ever have a normal relationship. Her Dom was a man with a tragic past and he’d put rules in place from the start.  If Liz chose to break them would she lose the intense passion she’d just discovered—as well as the man she loved?…

 

rule breakers

The Ground Rules #3 – Roya Carmen (23 Feb)

The blurb isn’t out yet – I’ll just have to be patient! If you’ve not read the series yet, you’re in for a real treat.

Here’s to a great year of reading!

Priest by Sierra Simone

priestBook: Priest

Series: Priest #1

Author: Sierra Simone

Review by: Onnica

Blurb:

There are many rules a priest can’t break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I’ve always been good at following rules.

Until she came. Then I learned new rules.

My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.

I am a priest and this is my confession.

Why you should read it: If you are a fan of difficult relationships – this book is the epitome of that. Tyler is dedicated to his work, but can’t seem to shake his previous life. When he meets Poppy – a woman with her own set of complex problems, he’s thrown for a loop.  The struggle is obvious – does he stick to the churches edict and remain true to his vows, or does he throw out his beliefs and indulge in a new relationship with Poppy? Well, I’m sure you can guess which option he goes for. The story is sensual, sexy but also smart too. It has a lot of religious imagery and symbolism, coupled with some seriously raunchy sexual activity. I enjoyed the dynamic between Tyler and Poppy – she’s looking for something, as is he. The emotion felt real.

What you might hate: Ok, I’m not catholic, nor am I religious, but my Pentecostal roots stood on end at some of the shenanigans taking place in the church, on the altar, in the vestry! If by any chance, you have religious sensibilities, I’m guessing this book won’t be for you. Tyler is a very foul-mouthed and dirty priest! He swears a lot, drinks a fair amount and I won’t go into what he does with the anointed oils!! Steer clear if you’re easily offended.

Rating: 4/5 – for me, this had enough sentiment and a story to elevate it from pure smut. There’s plenty of that, but there’s an extra dimension too. I thoroughly enjoyed it – and yes, church sex aside, the characters were incredibly likeable.

Can’t Hold Back by Serena Bell

canthold back

Book: Can’t Hold Back

Series: A Returning Home Novel #2

Author: Serena Bell

Release date: 15 December 2015

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Alia Drake thrives on nurturing others and being needed. Her job as a physical therapist is something she excels at and she feels she can make a real difference in the lives of her patients. When she has the opportunity to work at R&R, a veterans’ rehab centre, she jumps at the chance. Even the prospect of treating Nate Riordan isn’t about to put her off her dream job.

Nate Riordan has returned from service battered, both physically and mentally. Struggling with a pain-medication addiction, he can’t deny he needs help any longer. When he arrives at R&R, he isn’t prepared to come face-to-face with Alia – the girl who helped wreck his romantic dreams the year before. He may be unable to trust her, but if he’s going to manage his constant pain, he will have to put his hostilities on hold, if only temporarily.

Alia is determined to reach him and help Nate connect with the pain. This means facing some hard, painful memories and also dealing with the fact that their shared history is far from over…

Why you should read it: I inhaled this book on a wet Sunday afternoon, and it was time well spent! Serena Bell writes some seriously smart, funny and sexy stories. They always hit you right in the gut without being too drama filled or ridiculous. Nate and Alia’s story was sweet, realistic and sexy as hell. Alia is a level-headed heroine who needs to face her own demons. It’s good to see her gradually let go of her issues. Nate is hot! He’s sensitive, hot, well-rounded. Hot. (Ok, you get the point.) I honesty couldn’t put the book down until I finished.

What you might hate: Nada – this is a military romance – so I guess if it’s not your thing, then that may be an issue. I don’t read a lot of stories set in this world, but the ones I have read are so well done that I enjoyed them immensely. It’s a very human story, set in a world that felt authentic.

Rating: 5/5 – for a thoughtful, romantic and insightful story. Definitely give it a shot!

The Allure of Julian Lefray by R. S. Grey

The Allure book cover

Book: The Allure of Julian LeFray

Series: The Allure #1

Author: R.S. Grey

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Josephine Keller has recently moved to New York from Podunk Texas. A fashion blogger on the rise, she needs to find  a job quickly in order to a) not starve to death and b) not default on her student loans. Her protective parents already think she’s made a huge mistake in leaving, so she’s determined to prove them wrong. When she scores an invitation to the illustrious New York fashion gala, she’s terrified but resolved to make some contacts and find herself a job.

Despite a rocky start to the evening, Jo is stunned when she receives a job offer as personal assistant at Lorena Lefray designs. The only problem? Lorena’s stuck in rehab, so she has to work closely with Lorena’s brother Julian. He’s tall, successful, refined and fun and everything Jo could ever want. However, with her future stability hanging in the balance, she’ll be damned if she acts on the attraction. Even if it appears to be mutual.

The pair strike up a friendly and productive rapport that soon turns to flirtation and desire. Will Jo be able to keep the professionalism her top priority? Or will the chance at true happiness trump all?

Why you should read it: What a fun book! I received this as a recommendation from  an author friend and it was spot on! It was exactly what I wanted to read at the end of a tiring and tough work week. Jo was super-fun and witty and the way she faced her issues with style and humour was refreshing. She didn’t over-share and certainly didn’t expect Julian to sort out her problems for her. I loved her. Julian was a sweet hero – not an alpha, not a controlling character. Just a fun-loving guy who is completely bowled over by Jo and doesn’t know what to do about it.

 What you might hate: I don’t think there was anything to hate about this – it was the right blend of humour, romance and even the grand gesture at the end wasn’t over-egged. I loved it!

Rating: easy – 5/5 for a fun read (I feel like I’ve used the word ‘fun waaaay too much). I’m off to read The Allure of Dean Harper (book 2) right now!

Author spotlight – Alice Raine

Today we’re joined by Alice Raine. Bestselling author of the Untwisted series and now writing another trilogy, The Revealed series will be with us shortly – book one (Unmasked) will be out tomorrow (21st November).

So, having read and enjoyed The Untwisted series, I wanted to know what the new series had in store…
all 4 books

 

Onni: Alice – thanks so much for joining us today. Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed the adventures of Nathan and Nicholas in The Untwisted books. What can we expect from the new series – characters, locations etc?

Alice: There are some secrets and twists discovered in the first book, so unfortunately I can’t say too much without giving them away…but the settings are something I can discuss. I like to set my books in places I have actually been, so that I can try and convey the sights, sounds and experiences as thoroughly as possible, and this is no different in the Revealed series, as we visit both the UK and the US. More specifically, Buxton in the Peak district, and Los Angeles in the United States. 

The genre is erotic romance again, and in general, the themes are love, romance, and the development of hope and trust. As always though, I mix in some darker, edgier themes to add to the characters back stories. I enjoy the challenge of adding these trickier elements, and the great side-effect is that they help me create tension, passion and drama, and let’s face it, that’s what we all want when we sit down to read a book.

I think (hope) that in this new Revealed series I’ve become better at individualising my characters to make them more ‘real’. You’ll meet Sean, Allie, Jack and Cait, but I’m going to keep quiet about how those four are related – you’ll have to read to find out!

Onni: What made you want to jump into another trilogy – did you know as soon as you had the idea for Unmasked that it would be a trilogy?

Alice: Squeezing details, plots and character development into a single book can be tricky, so I like the concept of writing a series because I can really get my teeth into the stories and characters and use the longer length to expand the ideas. Plus, I tend to like to include 4 main characters, so by using a series I can spread the relationship developments across all the books to maintain the interest for the readers.

The Untwisted series actually started off as one book featuring Nicholas and Rebecca, but then, when test readers expressed an interest in Nicholas’s brother Nathan (who was mentioned as a minor part in the first book), I began to extend the stories and created the story of Nathan and Stella. I’m actually really thrilled with the way the series developed, and am particularly fond of the seasonal short stories that I have written to link with the series.

Onni: Do you know at the beginning of writing a trilogy what you want to happen in each book, or are you character-led?

Alice: A little of both. In the very initial planning stages I use a huge sketch pad and try to plot out the rough series of events that I see happening. Of course as I write, this adapts and flexes as new ideas occur to me. Then of course there are the characters, as they develop in my mind and within the manuscripts I do often end up diverting my storylines to include new developments within their backstories.

Onni: Does the writing process for you get easier?

Alice: Perhaps not easier, as such, but certainly clearer – I feel that I’m much better at the planning stages now, which definitely helps with the flow of the actual writing process and reduces overall stress!

Onni: Who is your ideal leading man?

Alice: Gosh, that’s a really difficult question! I think it would have to be a blend: Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) for his elegance and gentlemanly ways, Jesse Ward (This Man Trilogy) for his obsessive desire, Nathaniel Jackson (Untwisted series) for his intense passion and creativity in the bedroom and Tom Hardy (the actor) just because he’s gorgeous!

Onni: Pinterest or Tumblr for your inspiration?!

Alice: Pinterest. (At the risk of making myself sound really old, I don’t even use Tumblr!) I absolutely love the concept of Pinterest though, it’s like having my walls covered in countless pin boards of my favourite images, people and quotes, but without making my house cluttered! As well as using it for inspiration, it also features heavily in my planning, because I like to create boards in the initial planning stages for every book I write.

Many thanks to Alice for that peek into her head – I’ll certainly be delving into Unmasked once it’s out. If that’s whetted your appetite, here’s a snippet!

I was midway through my mammoth vacuuming session and singing along with Mika when the hoover suddenly cut off. Assuming I had pulled the cable from the wall in my exuberance I spun around to remedy it before letting out an ear-piercing shriek and leaping backwards, clutching at my chest as my heart suddenly beat frantically against my ribs.

The hoover hadn’t pulled itself from the wall. No, as I followed the trail of the cable it led me instead to the hand of a very large man, his arms folded and an incredibly angry expression on his face. Swallowing loudly, I briefly scrunched my eyes closed to make sure I wasn’t imagining him, but he was still there when I opened them again. And from the deep frown on his brow, he was still angry. Even through the shock of his sudden appearance, this man was undeniably handsome; a shock of dark hair sat in a ruffled mess on his head, his jaw was defined and lightly stubbled, his lips were drawn into a tight line of disapproval, but were infinitely tempting, and his dark eyes, although irate, seemed to somehow draw me in to the point where I felt the urge to step closer. Thankfully, I didn’t, instead forcefully making my legs stay still.

On top of all of that, it suddenly permeated my consciousness that he was only semi-clothed. Jesus. My eyes flicked over his body and I think my heart stopped for a few seconds before taking off again at such a rate that it was now booming in my chest like some badly played bongo drums. He was wearing nothing but a pair of navy pyjama bottoms.

Crikey, what a sight – so good in fact, that it really should be illegal. His legs were long, the thin cotton clinging to muscles hidden beneath, and the waistband hanging deliciously low on his hips, so it exposed a ‘v’ of muscles that led to goodness knows what splendidness below. Everything looked narrow and tight and… well, inspiring all sorts of delicious thrusting naughtiness to spring to mind.

He was, quite simply, glorious.

My mouth suddenly felt as parched as a dry river bed. Licking my lips, my eyes lingered on his well-muscled abdomen for far longer than necessary, but I couldn’t seem to pull my gaze away as I gulped desperately and absently reached to tug my earbuds out. I didn’t even know him, but the urge to step forwards and run my tongue up the centre of his chest was almost overpowering.

His appearance had definitely sent me into an instant tail spin, there was no doubt about that…

Connect with Alice:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AliceRaineAuthor

Twitter: @AliceRaine1

Website: www.aliceraineauthor.com

Pre-order links for Unmasked: Amazon UK Amazon.com

About Alice…
IMG_6337 view contrastWhere to start? I’m really a lot more boring and normal than my books might suggest. It may disappoint some to know that I’ve never had an illicit affair with a domineering pianist, nor have I ever met or dated a man who frequented certain seedy clubs in London. I have however always had an overactive imagination, which may in part explain where my stories come from!
I was born and raised in London, and as such it holds a special place in my heart and is often used as a setting within my books. Some of my best times have been spent with friends wandering the markets of Camden or sipping beers in Covent Garden.
When I was eighteen I moved to Manchester to study, where I ended up living for over ten years. Originally I qualified as an archaeologist, but I soon realised that jobs in that sector were minimal and decided to put my enthusiasm to use by becoming a teacher. I taught for over seven years, but now I mostly spend my days engaging my wildly over active imagination by writing. I’ve lived in Manchester, Muscat (Oman) and briefly in France, but currently I’m in the process of moving back to London, a very exciting prospect for me. Where ever I find myself I live with my ever suffering, but hugely supportive husband, and our rescued street dog Ralph.