Category: Uncategorized

My day at the Four Brits Book Fest 2016

Hey all, I hope you had a great weekend. I did – I attended my first book signing and got to meet some of my favourite indie authors from the US and the UK. (To add to the excitement, The Vampire Diaries cast were in a room next door and I spotted Ian Somerhalder! He is as hot in real life as you’d expect. But I digress…)

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Penny Reid’s stand

It was a busy day and among the long list of authors attending were Jodi Ellen Malpas, Kitty French, Rachel Van Dyken, Jessica Hawkins and Penny Reid. If ever I doubted how important a genre romance is, I only had to look at my fellow attendees, carting around crates of well-loved books for the authors to sign. People had come by train with huge suitcase full of books!

Most striking was the number of supportive husbands/partners in attendance. Whether they were lugging books or holding a place in the queue, they were there. It made me laugh, as I’d never have dreamed of dragging my other half to this event, but I guess that’s love for you!

I spent the day with like-minded romance fiends and got to avoid Euro 16, so I count it as a day well spent. I FINALLY met my friend Jessica Hawkins who I go on and on and on about on this blog – it was so great to sit down and chat to her about life, travel and her writing. All in all, it was a very fun Saturday and thanks to the organisers for all their hard work to make the day such a success.

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My modest pile of books -some old and new. Can’t wait to dive in!

Forbidden by Charlotte Stein

forbiddenBook: Forbidden

Series: An Under the Skin Novel #2

Author: Charlotte Stein

Format: ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: As far back as she can remember, Dorothy has been told she’s evil, possessed by the devil and in need of correction. She’s used to the daily beatings at the hands of her mother and the priests who help with her ‘treatment’. When she wakes and sees a man freeing her from her prison, she believes it’s another form of hallucination. Her saviour is Killian: a soon-to-be priest who is disgusted with what Dot has been subjected to.

He offers to take her to a safe place in Boston, run by the church where she can recover and get back on her feet. The pair gradually get acquainted and find that they have a lot to learn about each other. The more time they spend in each other’s company, the clearer it becomes that Killian may be unable to take his vows…

Why you should read it: Anyone who is a fan of Charlotte Stein should take a look at this novella. It’s touching, a little bit sad, but also very optimistic too. It’s also as hot as hell – the chemistry and the journey of discovery Killian and Dot embark on is so perfect and so sexy! It really did it for me. Dot is a likeable character, who’s had a lot of bad things happen to her. Despite this, she’s determined to live life and not let her past hold her back. She wants that future to include Killian.

What you might hate: Well, organised religion doesn’t come out too well in this particular story but I don’t think there’s a lot to hate on here! I loved the characters, but as it was short I only got a glimpse of who these two were and who they could be together. I wanted more, but that’s always a good place to end a story, no? For a quick read that you can enjoy in one sitting, this is one to add to the tar list.

Rating: 4/5 for a satisfyingly sexy story about self-discovery and finding love against the odds.

Forbidden is out now.

No Weddings by Kat and Stone Bastion

noweddingsBook: No Weddings

Author: Kat & Stone Bastion

Series: (No Weddings #1)

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Cade Michaelson is a hotshot entrepreneur and Business major. Together with his sisters, they want to create an event-planning business called Invitation Only. They’ll provide top-notch parties for the privileged class they grew up with – but with one stipulation: they don’t do weddings. Cade has his own reasons for this – a past hurt that even two years later, he can’t seem to shake. For the business to fully take shape, they need a partner who will provide the desserts for each event.

Hannah Martin has recently opened her bakery and dreams of growing the business. After several careful negotiations with Cade, she’s tempted by more than the opportunity. After spending more and more time together, the pair realise just how much they’re drawn to each other, but are both aware of the implications and the impact it could have on business. Hannah is also nursing scars of her own and doesn’t want to be another notch on Cade’s bedpost. Just friends it is…

Why you should read this: This is book one in what is set to be a fun series. The attraction between Cade and Hannah is palpable and it gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘slow burn’. The dialogue is pithy and the husband and wife writing team made both the male and female main characters realistic.

What you might hate: For me, I’m used to a little bit more action in my books – even if it is the first in a series. We find out the character’s secrets and why they feel unable to move forward, but other than that…there’s not a whole lot that happens. Which is fine, if you want a break from machinating exes and villains but, it fell a bit flat for me.

Rating: I give No Weddings 3/5 – it was fun, sexy and very sweet in parts. Am I curious about the rest of the series? Not sure yet.

No Weddings is out on 8 September.

noweddingseries

No Weddings – Sep 8th
One Funeral – Sep 29th
Two Bar Mitzvahs – Oct 20th
Three Christmases – Nov 17th

Release Day Blitz – InTENse Anthology

I know some of you adore your alphas and so, where better to find not one, not two, but 10 all in the same place?

Intense coverToday sees the release of inTENse – an anthology of alpha maleness, featuring the talents of Aleatha Romig, Sandi Lynn, Liv Morris, S.E. Lund, Kailin Gow, J.L. Mac, Julie Richman, Penelope Ward, Kahlen Aymes, and Vi Keeland.

Some will be sweet, others will be downright ruthless – there will be something for everyone. Having read two out of the ten, I can tell you that this anthology covers the range from slightly-protective-but-lovable alpha, to the downright nasty, vindictive, will-he-ever-be-redeemed anti-hero.

Here’s a peek at the books included:

Consequences by Aleatha Romig

Every action has consequences: Claire doesn’t understand how she ended up in the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings, but it’s been made abundantly clear—she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences. Captivate the captor: Will Claire follow his rules, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?

Forever Black by Sandi Lynn

When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.”

With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, made a vow to never fall in love. After Ellery shares her world, Connor starts to feel things he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world, but she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy him emotionally forever. 

 Join Connor and Ellery as they embark on a journey of courage, love and strength. Will it be enough to save them?

Adam’s Apple by Liv Morris

Adam Kingsley reigns as the prince of Manhattan. His looks and money let him get away with all types of sins. It’s been an intoxicating ride until he meets Kathryn Delcour, an alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes.

Adam finds this complex woman too tempting to resist and will stop at nothing to have her, yet she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. But will she be strong enough to hold the charismatic Adam Kingsley at bay? The passionate lure of ancient sexual practices and a former business partner wanting to inflict a deadly revenge set the scene for an erotic love story. All told in Adam’s point of view.

The Agreement by S.E. Lund

Kate McDermott is a Journalism graduate student writing an article about BDSM in popular culture. It’s just research & nothing personal. Really. Drake Morgan, MD, is a Neurosurgeon, bass player, philanthropist & Dominant. He doesn’t do girlfriends, sleepovers, & he certainly doesn’t do breakfast in bed the morning after. Ever.

When the two meet for an interview, Kate hopes the carefully worded agreement she draws up will keep their relationship strictly professional. Big mistake…

Devour Me by Kailin Gow

Taryn Cummings could not believe she was accepted into the prestigious International Institute of Culinary Arts culinary institute she dreamed of studying at in beautiful Paris, France. It was a far cry from her unglamorous life back home in New York where she helped her mother run their small family-owned restaurant called Sam’s. The Institute churned out the top chefs in the world, including the wildly sexy and eccentric Master Chef, Errol King, whose celebrity personality was larger than life.

She wanted excitement in a city of romance and thrills, but arrived to find her apartment barely livable and herself in need of a suitable place to stay. A chance meeting at the Institute brings her face-to-face with her new roommate…the devilishly charming Errol King, who would be guest teaching her class this term.

The attraction is as hot as the fire they cook with, and while Errol King, the notorious bad boy chef with an attitude, can get anyone he wanted into his bed, he wanted this woman more than anything. Something about her sweet innocence and sad eyes reach into his harden heart, but is it enough for him to forget his past?

Vital Sign by J.L. Mac

My world was perfect, until it wasn’t. I fell fast and hard straight into the fiery pits of hell, my past a bittersweet torture that never went away; the sadness, eating away at my soul. My life is empty. No meaning. No hope. No vital sign.

Despite her general indifference to organ donation, Sadie sets out to heal by finding those who benefited from her husband’s tragic death, but instead of peace, finds only jealousy and rage.

Though Sadie hates Alexander McBride for his health, he soothes her grief in ways that are intoxicating; addictive even. Can she learn to love the man who now owns the heart that used to beat just for her?  If she has any hope of overcoming her all consuming grief, he must convince her that it still does.

Searching for Moore by Julie Richman

I lost the love of my life when she disappeared without even a goodbye.

It was the 80’s – there was no internet, no Google, no cell phones. If you wanted to disappear, you could.  And she did. She crushed my soul.

A friend just told me he saw her on Facebook. And now I’m a keystroke away from asking her the question that’s haunted me for two decades.  “Why did you leave me?”

Sexy entrepreneur Schooner Moore receives the birthday bombshell of a lifetime – his true love, college girlfriend Mia Silver, the girl who broke his heart when she fled without even a goodbye at the end of their freshman year, has been seen on Facebook. Now 24 years later, Schooner discovers the truth behind what drove Mia from him as he tries to once again win her love.

Gemini by Penelope Ward

Diner waitress Allison had no idea her mundane life was about to dramatically change the day she serves a devastatingly handsome customer. After he abruptly leaves the restaurant, she can’t get him out of her head. She has no idea that he had actually come on a mission to find her. Cedric wasn’t expecting to fall in love at first sight with the pretty waitress he’d set out to find. In fact, she was the last woman on Earth he should be having feelings for. Before revealing himself, he makes her believe their meetings are coincidental. Cedric’s lies and secrets are finally revealed, changing both of their lives forever.

Angel After Dark by Kahlen Aymes

Gorgeous, hotshot executive, Alexander Avery, is all business and doesn’t believe in love. He bases his relationships on mutual convenience and makes no apologies for his lifestyle or his choices. When his on-the-way-out girlfriend calls into a late night radio program to whine about his treatment of her, he is angrier at the host’s advice, than the inconsequential woman’s bitch-fest.

Psychologist Angeline Hemming has little tolerance for bullshit, so when Alex calls into her show a week later to give his side of the story, she calls him out on his excuses, and um…habits.  

When they finally meet, their sexual chemistry and mental connection leaves them both reeling, as they take their fight… to the mattresses!

Belong to You by Vi Keeland

My honeymoon was almost everything I dreamed it would be; a tropical paradise, turquoise water, romantic walks on the beach, and loads and loads of mind shattering sex. The only thing missing was the groom.

After seven years of coasting through a relationship with Michael, my senses were numb. A week of passion with a stranger was just what I needed to clear my head and take back control of my life. But how do you move on when the man that was only supposed to be a fling somehow seeps into your soul and steals your heart?

InTENse is out today for the bargain price of $0.99/£0.77!

Buy Links

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/inTENse-Collection-Length-Romance-Bestsellers-ebook/dp/B00N04YXF6/

Amazon UK: 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/inTENse-Collection-Length-Romance-Bestsellers-ebook/dp/B00N04YXF6/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intense-vi-keeland/1120195709?ean=2940150678477&itm=1&usri=intense+vi+keeland

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/inTENse/xWknJGKGCkKq4f32VfWIXQ

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/intense-anthology-ten-bestselling/id911545316

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468975

Blog Tour: Only With You by Lauren Layne

Only-with-You-Blog-Tour

 

We’re so happy to be one of the stops on Lauren Layne’s blog tour. If you haven’t read Only With You yet, below is our review, a teaser and you could win a copy in our competition. Click here to enter.

COVER-Only with You

Book: Only With You

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: The Best Mistake #1

Format: Kindle ARC

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

 

Basic story: Sophie Dalton is drifting, or in the words of her loser ex-boyfriend, she’s floating aimlessly through life. Despite having two degrees under her belt, neither careers were what she wanted to do, so she’s a waitress until she figures things out. Her family treats her like the disappointment of the family – she’s nothing like her perfect big sister Brynne and her parents take every opportunity to hammer that point home. Things can’t get much worse for Sophie. Or so she thinks.

At a particularly tacky bachelorette party in Vegas, Sophie decides to channel her inner party girl and dress up. The plan backfires when a sexy, tall and brooding man in the elevator mistakes her for a hooker. Her already low opinion of herself plummets further. It’s time to re-evaluate her priorities and get her life back on track.

That horrible night comes back to haunt Sophie when her sister Brynne invites her new boyfriend to dinner. Grayson Wyatt is stunned to see her again, minus her hooker gear. Sophie cannot believe her bad luck. When she is inveigled into working for the jerk, things go from bad, to worse, to interesting.

Why you should read this: I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne – she always nails the balance between light and fun reads but always brings an element of pathos to her characters. Sophie is a really fun character – she’s a people-pleaser with the ability to diffuse tense situations. She also has a very low opinion of herself. I felt for her at times – Grayson is really hard work and definitely not a people-person. I liked Grayson because he was different. He’s not a perfect character. He’s not an alpha with all the answers. He’s a bit of a disaster area really. No social skills and unsure of how to handle his attraction to Sophie. The tension between the two of them is off the charts. Prepare for a looooong wait before they sort themselves out though!

What you might hate: At times Grayson’s mixed signals gave me whiplash – one minute he wants Sophie, then he hates Sophie and thinks her sister is more his speed. He’s a completely hopeless character, but once he shows his vulnerability, you can’t help but root for him a little bit.

Rating: 3.5/5 for a fun, quick read with plenty of mind-games, banter and it also has some likable peripheral characters who we’ll see more of in Made For You, book two in the series.

Only With You is out on July 29th.

 Excerpt:

They grabbed their wineglasses and headed toward the

sound of Brynn’s smooth alto voice and the sharper squawk

that generally meant Marnie was in full-out “impress” mode.

Sophie hoped her sister’s new man-friend was adept at

flattery and pleasant niceties, because he was going to need

a hefty dose of social skills to maneuver his new girlfriend’s

overprotective father and eager-for-grand-babies mother.

She shuffled after Will into the “drawing room,” mentally

preparing herself for mind-numbing conversation with one

of Brynn’s adoring drones.

 Sophie halted to a stop so suddenly that some of her wine

sloshed over the edge of her glass and onto Marnie’s pristine

white carpet.

 Her mother made an exasperated sound, but a little

spilled Chardonnay was the least of Sophie’s worries.

 It was him.

 The man from the Las Vegas elevator standing in front

of her like some sort of icy-eyed ghost. And he had an arm

around her sister’s waist.

Oh, holy crap.

The aged gouda she’d just swallowed began churning in

the wine tsunami of her stomach.

Will pinched her upper arm none too gently, and Sophie

belatedly realized that her sister had finished introductions.

Everybody was staring at her, including Mr. I’m Not

Looking for an Escort Service. She had so not missed that

deadly sexy gaze. Emphasis on the “deadly” part. Still, it

was reassuring that he too looked a bit shell-shocked. He

didn’t say a word, but based on what she knew of him, she

didn’t really expect him to.

 The ball was clearly in her court.

Buying links: AmazonB&NiTunesBAM!Indiebound

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne writes contemporary romance for Grand Central Publishing (Forever) and Random House (Loveswept).

After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Lauren moved to New York City where she now writes full time.

Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. She lives with her husband and plus-sized pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Website I Facebook  I Twitter

Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe

wildchildBook: Wild Child

Author: Molly O’Keefe

Series: Boys Of Bishop #1

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Monica Appleby has been there and done it all. She’s a veteran even though she’s not yet out of her twenties. She’s returned to Bishop Arkansas in order to write a book about her childhood, and in particular, the night her mother shot her father dead. Returning home to the scene of her unhappy childhood is more difficult than she thought it would be, but with her editor breathing down her neck for chapters, she needs to speak to people in town that remember what happened that night.

Jackson Davies is the young mayor of the town and hates his job and the weight of his responsibility. He’s been looking after his teenage sister since she was little and their parents died. Unable to communicate with the sullen teen, he throws himself into saving the town’s dwindling resources. The town is nearing bankruptcy, so when he enters a competition to convince a factory owner to move his operations to Bishop, he’s dedicated to seeing it through and bringing life back to the place. Nothing is going to stand in the way of securing the town’s future, as it’s his way out of the place. Former ‘wild child’ Monica Appleby will not derail his plans to present Bishop as a town with potential. Even if she has a body for sin and her purple-eyed stare calls to him – so what. She spells trouble and her past baggage has the potential to jeopardise his PR campaign.

Why you should read this: I think I fell in love with the town first, then the characters. I could imagine how Bishop looked and smelled so vividly. The characters were real – no exaggerations, no stereotypes. I loved them all. The heat between Jackson and Monica was palpable – their similarities and their cluelessness was so endearing. You’ll really root for them both. There were interesting insights into other characters in the town too – so I’m guessing that we’ll find out more about them in the future. I hope that Shelby gets her own happy ever after.

What you might hate: I honestly don’t see what you would hate about this story. The author didn’t wrap all areas up with a satin bow, and I for one was relieved as there are a lot of deeply hidden grief and heartbreak, which would take a lot of time to resolve. It was a hopeful, realistic read that warmed my heart.

Rating: Easy. 4/5 for an impressive, heartwarming and sexy tale about lost souls finding each other, forgiveness and moving on are also important themes, well thought out. I would love to read more about the inhabitants of Bishop, Arkansas.

Wild Child is out now.

Giveaway: Romance Grab Bag featuring ‘The Dining Club’ by Marina Anderson

Forever Romance’s first serial novel, THE DINING CLUB by bestselling author Marina Anderson, is now available and the lovely ladies at Forever Romance are having a bumper giveaway, where 3 lucky winners will receive print copies of the following books:

THE DINING CLUB by Marina Anderson

HAVEN OF OBEDIENCE by Marina Anderson

SLOW SURRENDER by Cecilia Tan

THIS MAN by Jodi Ellen Malpas

WUTHERING NIGHTS by I.J. Miller

ALL HE WANTS by C.C. Gibbs

The Giveaway will run from October 23rd until October 30th and is open to US and Canadian residents – over 18s only please. You can enter here.

Desire

The Dining Club is a serialised read and it is guaranteed to heat up these cold winter nights. Here’s an excerpt:

Excerpt:

 ‘Grace, most people keep parts of themselves hidden from the rest of the world. Haven’t you any deep, dark secrets or feelings that you never vocalise?’

‘No, I haven’t. Tell me about this weekend before I get up and walk out of here,’ she retorted, her anxiety rising with every word he spoke.

 His fingers stopped moving against the nape of her neck.

‘This Club isn’t really a dining club. It’s a Club for people with specialised sexual needs and desires. They come here so that they can enjoy themselves safe in the knowledge that they’re surrounded by like-minded people.’

Grace frowned. ‘Why do they need a dining room for that? There are plenty of clubs in

London that cater for all kinds of sexual tastes.’

 ‘True, but sometimes people need a place to bring someone they’re involved with who doesn’t know some of their, shall we say, more unusual sexual needs. This is a safe place for them to find out if that person can ever be happy sharing their world, or if the

relationship is doomed to failure because they can’t.’

Remembering the way her lover’s teeth had closed over her soft inner thighs, causing her moments of genuine pain, Grace began to understand what he meant. ‘Can you explain more about the dining room?’

‘There are four tables, five if you count the top table, but you don’t need to get involved with that. Each table is numbered from one to five. As you noticed, every table seats three people. This is because at every table there are two people like you and me, who are he

re to discover whether they are well suited sexually or not, and either another Club member or one of the staff. Needless to say, all of the staff here have a very wide range of sexual skills.

‘Tonight you and I will sit at table one. If the evening goes well, and you want to come back next month, we’ll sit at table two.’

Buy Links: (Part 1: DESIRE)

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1cSABOp

iTunes– http://bit.ly/1baSCFC

Barnes and Noble – http://bit.ly/1fSJUlp

Happy Release Day! – Jessica Hawkins’ Come Together

Happy, happy release day to the incredibly talented and lovely Jessica Hawkins! We’re the first stop on her blog tour for Book 3 in the Cityscape Series and we finally get to see who will have their happily ever after and who will be torn apart. If you’ve enjoyed Olivia, David (swoons unashamedly) and Bill’s journeys, you won’t want to miss the final instalment.

I’ll be posting a review later next week, but for now here’s an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Come Together.

David walked to me and sat, the bed dipping under his weight. “I like being here in your old room. I get to see a different part of you.”

“Do you like what you see?” I asked, arching an eyebrow at him.

His eyes moved to my lips, and a grunt was his non-response.

“I’m not supposed to have boys in my bed,” I whispered. Before he could stop me, I threw a leg over him and settled astride his lap. “Dad would flip.”

He took two handfuls of my ass and squeezed, pulling me against his crotch.

“You’re hard,” I murmured, my mind buzzing, my insides thrilling. He skated one hand up my back and stilled me by the nape of my neck. He held it as he latched his lips to mine in a sensual kiss that quickly turned hard and greedy. His tongue reached for me hungrily as his hand secured me to him. I gyrated in his lap as he flexed his other hand against my ass.

“Lose your virginity here?” he rasped.

I shook my head. “College,” I breathed and then kissed him again. “You?” I asked into his mouth.

“Sixteen.”

“Head cheerleader?” I pushed my hips into him, creating a slow but purposeful rhythm.

“Something like that,” he said from behind gritted teeth. “You?”

“Jordan Banks, my,” my breath hitched when he pulled me against him harder, “first boyfriend.”

He flipped me over onto my back suddenly and grasped my hips in his hands. My legs surrounded him as he continued grinding against me.

“You’re gonna . . . make me . . . come,” I breathed, gasping with each acute sensation.

With a snap, he popped open the button of my jeans with one hand and pulled them over my ass. He propped himself above me with an outstretched arm. “Touch yourself in this bed?” he asked. He bypassed my pants to continue his sinuous teasing against my panties.

“Yes,” I whimpered.

“Show me.”

I hesitated, lost in the sensations singing through my body. He grasped my hand and lowered it between my legs. He shifted his hips and clamped my hand over my mound, circling my fingers around my clit.

“Oh, God,” I moaned, bowing my back. “Right there.”

“Don’t stop,” he said gruffly as he grabbed himself through his pants.

I urged him forward by pushing my heels into his ass.

“We can’t.” He glanced over his shoulder and when he looked back at me, his wore a lascivious grin. “What if your dad catches us?”

“I’m willing to risk it,” I exhaled, my fingers already tearing at his fly.

Come Together is out today.

Come Together

Blog Tour – Megan Hart’s Tear You Apart & Giveaway

You may remember I recently reviewed Megan Hart’s Tear You Apart. It’s out now and Megan has kindly offered an excerpt to whet your appetites if you’ve not yet read it. I was totally knocked out by the book for its honesty and well-observed commentary, so it’s a pleasure to be able to share it with you.

tear you apartEver wondered how authors get their inspiration? Me too, so in true Megan style, here’s a little Tear You Apart trivia – did you know..?

  1. The title comes from the song by She Wants Revenge.
  2. The character of Will is unabashedly based (physically) on Norman Reedus. Love him! (Google him)
  3. In the book, Elisabeth experiences synesthesia, a condition in which sights and smells or sounds and sights, etc. become linked. I don’t experience this to the same extent as she does, but I definitely link sensations in odd ways…for example, something might taste the way something (totally unrelated) smells.
  4. I also despise modern art, and experienced something very much like Will and Elisabeth’s trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Moved to tears by Starry Night. Underwhelmed by some other pieces. Drunk on the MOMAtini. (The rest of it didn’t happen to me!)
  5. The book can be experienced, in addition to the text, as a “rock opera” with a full playlist. It can be found in the back of the book, and should be listened to in order. The songs tell their story.
  6. Tear You Apart is one of the fastest books I’ve ever written, and until literally just a few chapters from the end, I had no idea what was going to happen.
  7. Elisabeth is named in honor of the main character in 91/2 Weeks.
  8. Will is not named in honor of anyone; I can’t remember why I picked that name, only that it fit him.
  9. Gillian Anderson would be a great Elisabeth.
  10. Tear You Apart is not a romance. It’s a love story.

Excerpt

It happens all at once, so smoothly, how he pulls me close to him. He is going to kiss me. I am going to let him.

At the last second, I turn my face. I can’t do it. To feel his mouth on mine would be too much. It’s already all too much. Will smiles and everything inside me melts, liquid, running hot. He pulls me closer. He doesn’t kiss my mouth.

He kisses my neck, not soft or accidental but entirely on purpose. I don’t cringe, and I don’t pull away. I offer myself to him like I was waiting for this all along, and maybe I was but didn’t know it, but the first moment I feel the scratching brush of his stubble on my skin, all I can do is give up to it.

I give up to him.

My fingers thread through the back of his hair, holding his mouth closer to the soft and sensitive skin of my neck as my own lips part on a sigh I can not contain within the jail of my throat. Then my back is against the wall and Will presses against me, but he didn’t push me. I went there on my own. I pulled him against me. His leg eases between mine, his thigh pressing. My heel hooks over his calf. His kiss slides along my throat and jaw, but again when he tries to kiss my mouth, I turn my head. My hands find the hem of his shirt. Don’t do it, I tell myself. Don’t. But I do it anyway, I lift his shirt and let my fingertips find his smooth, hot skin underneath. His back. His stomach. The flat of my hand slides across him, and it’s not enough. It will never be enough.

“I have to go. I really should go.” Murmured between kisses against his throat, the words are insincere. No matter what I should do, what I have to do, I’m not leaving.

Will pauses, his breath hot on my cheek. He doesn’t move away, and oh, God, I can feel his cock, hard through his jeans, the thick ridge of it against my belly. I am undone.

We stay that way for the in-and-out of three or four breaths. My hands are still under his shirt. I blink rapidly, a puddle of silk ribbons in my brain for a couple seconds when my fingertips skid along the small indents of his spine. Crimson silk ribbons, that’s what his skin feels like.

“You should go,” he whispers. “You really should go.”

But I’m not leaving, I’m following a few stumbling steps toward the small alcove beneath the loft and the couch there. Leather, overstuffed, I think it’s black but it might be brown, I can’t focus on the color or the pattern of the pillows. My hands are flat on his chest, and Will lets me push him back onto the couch. Then I’m on top of him, straddling, my dress hiked up around my thighs, and his hands are skimming the edge of the fabric the same way mine did with the bottom of his shirt, and all I can think about is how much I want him to touch me.

Everything is hands and mouth and teeth and lips and tongue. We fumble, and it doesn’t matter. Laughter stutters out of me like rocks skipping on a lake. I bend over him, yank at his belt, freeing him. My hair falls in my face, and he pushes it back so he can get at my neck again. My throat. I can not get enough of him.

I push up his shirt, then pull it off over his head. Smooth, smooth skin. Hot. My fingers curl against his ribs. He has a tattoo, a stylized bird over his heart. My thighs grip his. His erection nudges me, thick and hard, and all I can think about is touching him. My hand strokes. His hips push upward. A groan slips from his throat.

I did that.

I did that to him.

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Cake by Lauren Dane

Cake

Book: Cake

Author: Lauren Dane

Publisher: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads

Format: Uncorrected ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic Story: Wren Davis is studying art and determined to make her dreams to be an illustrator come true. Working hard with a job as a courier on the side, she becomes good friends with artist, Gregori Ivanov, Russian enfant terrible and toast of the art world. He’s enigmatic, flirtatious and demanding, but Wren likes him. They flirt, they talk art and she gets him. Gradually she begins to look forward to more and more delivery jobs that bring her to his door.

Art is Gregori’s life and nothing gets between him and his work. He’s used to being pursued by hangers-on and women that want to be the centre of his universe. Wren is different. She’s sassy, confident, beautiful and she is unimpressed by his wealth and his lifestyle. She doesn’t take kindly to his caprices and is always honest with him. She can give as good as she gets and he loves that. When it becomes clear that she could be good for him in more ways than one, he struggles to accept it as he wants her friendship more than anything else. How can he offer her more when all along he’s thought of women as disposable?

Why you should read this: This is a delightful novella that’s fun and has a great heroine. Comfortable in her own skin and knows what she wants she has he man in her sights and she usually gets what she wants. There’s humour and the author sets the scene nicely. It’s well paced and sexy as hell. Who doesn’t like a tattooed and moody artist with an accent? The power play between Wren and Gregori is enjoyable – did I mention how much I enjoyed her character??

What you might hate: Can’t think of anything here – too short maybe? Ah yes, that’s the nature of novellas – I think it was the perfect length.

Rating: 4/5 – this was a highly enjoyable quick read – sweet and delicious. A lot like cake.

Cake is out on 15 September.