Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Military Week... Melinda Leigh's Hour of Need & Minutes to Kill

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Hour of Need (Scarlet Falls, #1)
Hour of Need
Scarlet Falls; Book 1
338 Pages
Published: December 9th 2014
Published by: Montlake Romance

While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders.

Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment.

But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

Buy Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK

“Nan!” Ellie squinted into the darkness. Beyond her shotgun-wielding grandmother, the man standing in her neighbor’s driveway looked familiar. But her eyes hadn’t adjusted to the lack of light, and he was standing in the shadow of his open trunk. “You cannot point a gun at someone.”
“Well, he was skulking around the house in the dark. He looked like he was going to break in.” Nan tapped a white athletic shoe on the pavement. Frenzied barking emanated from their house. “A girl can’t be too careful. Lots of crime around here lately.”
“He parked in the driveway, Nan. That’s hardly criminal behavior.” Ellie gently liberated the gun from her grandmother and let the muzzle tip toward the ground. “That barking is going to wake Julia. Would you please go inside and make the dog stop?”
Then Ellie would try to convince the man not to call the police—or a psychiatric ward—on her grandmother.
Nan gave her a pointed look, but she complied, walking toward their house.
The stranger closed the trunk and faced her, and she recognized Lee’s brother. “Grant?”
At six foot four, his broad shoulders and wide chest filled out his brown leather jacket. “Hello, Ellie.”
Sadness crept up the back of her throat. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.” He cleared his throat.
“I apologize for my grandmother,” she said. “She’s tired of reporters and photographers. Plus, there have been other people who actually were skulking around the place in the dark looking for a way to break in. We called the police a few times. They said once the media releases the victims’ names, it isn’t uncommon for criminals to target the house. Is there anything I can do for you?”
“I don’t have a key. I was hoping there was an unlocked window or door. No such luck.”
“I have one. Let’s go inside, and I’ll get it for you.”
“I was just thinking about knocking on your door.” He sounded grateful. “Don’t know why I didn’t do it right away.”
“I imagine you have a lot on your mind.” Now that the crisis had passed, she shivered hard. She hadn’t taken time to put on a jacket when she saw her grandmother—
with her gun—stalking the man out front. But now Ellie’s Spackle-smeared T-shirt and jeans were no match for the night air.
They crossed the wide, snow-crusted front yards and stomped up her steps. The porch light shone across his face. He had the same blond hair and blue eyes as Lee but the resemblance stopped there. Tall and thin, Lee had had a Gregory-Peck-as-Atticus-Finch way about him. He’d been unassuming and scholarly. Larger and more muscular, Grant was a dominant physical presence, one that she felt along every square inch of her exposed skin. Even if she hadn’t known he was a soldier, she would have guessed it from the hardness of his body, readiness in his stance, and wariness in his eye. Despite the grief etched on his face, she was transfixed for a moment. Ten months in the desert had sharpened his Scandinavian features and given him a harder look. Handsome before, his masculinity had amplified tenfold. His posture and body were leaner, edgier, poised to react.
He caught her staring. The slightest smile turned up the corner of his mouth, and a blush heated her face.

“This dazzling first installment of Leigh’s breathtaking new Scarlet Falls series will have readers hooked in an instant. Leigh faithfully delivers animated characters, chills, thrills, and a plot that quickens the pulse all in one shot. Suspense fans will find their senses awakened with this military story set in an unforgettable small town, and lovers of romance will swoon as soon as they rapidly connect with Grant and Ellie. A real show-stopper.” —RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars

Though this is the first book of Leigh’s new romantic suspense series, Scarlet Falls, the author pleasantly surprises by not leaving a passel of loose ends to set up the sequel. Rather, the ensemble is effectively introduced without excessive back story, the multi-layered mystery is neatly organized (a bit more foreshadowing, perhaps?) and the final scenes are tidily done. Too, the antagonists are deviously and devilishly busy, creating a suspenseful sense of ever-present danger. Well-written, energetically paced entertainment.” —The Crime Book Beat


Barb’s Review for Hour of Need
Originally posted 3/2/15

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Minutes to Kill (Scarlet Falls, #2)
Minutes to Kill
Scarlet Falls; Book 2
324 Pages
Published: June 30, 2015
Published by: Montlake Romance

After corporate attorney Hannah Barrett tries—and fails—to stop a kidnapping in Vegas, she can’t shake the haunting image of the terrified young girl she couldn’t save. She tells herself that a visit to her hometown in Scarlet Falls could be a welcome distraction. But soon, Hannah realizes the kidnappers have all the info they need to track her every move. And when chilling e-mails about the victim appear in her inbox, it’s frighteningly clear what happened in Vegas has followed her home.

Eight months after a terrible family tragedy, Hannah turns to Detective Brody McNamara once again. Brody is eager to help, though he’s embroiled in the investigation of a brutal murder. But the closer they work together, the stronger their feelings grow…and the more they stand to lose when two seemingly unrelated, but equally deadly, cases collide.

Minutes to Kill is the pulse-racing second novel in bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s Scarlet Falls series.

Buy Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK

Exclusive Excerpt:
“Hannah, you did your best,” Brody said.

“It wasn’t good enough.” Hannah pulled out of his grip and turned away. She went to the window and stared out into the yard. Two robins hopped across the back lawn. One shoved its beak into the damp grass and ripped a worm from the turf. Its body flailed until the bird ate it in two gulps. A shudder rippled from Hannah’s torso to her bare feet. The pretty scene faded, and she pictured Jewel being yanked from the rental car, her arms pinwheeling, small fists landing useless blows on her attacker’s shoulders, the girl’s terror palpable even to a stunned Hannah.
She rubbed her arms. “Do you think those e-mails are really from her? That she’s reaching out for help?” If she was, her time was running out.
“Why would she contact you and not the police?”
“I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense.” Hannah covered her mouth with a fist. “But it feels like I’m letting her down all over again.”
“Do you do this all the time?”

“Do what?” She glanced over her shoulder.
Brody’s arms were crossed over his chest, and his gaze had sharpened. “Not allow yourself to be human. Try to shoulder the weight of things that aren’t your fault.”
She turned back to the yard. The robin moved on, its hunger not sated by one slender earthworm. Predators never stopped hunting.
“Some things are out of your control.” The harsh edge to Brody’s voice made her want to ask him what terrible event from his past had been out of his control. Who or what had put the pain in his eyes?
“I know that. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” There would be more girls at risk, Hannah knew, all because she hadn’t seen that SUV coming.
“I’m glad you’re all right.”

“You’re not going to lecture me on putting myself at risk?”
“Maybe later.” Brody smiled. “You are what you are. Sometimes all that ferocity is a little scary, but I wouldn’t change anything about you.”

“With the perfect mixture of suspense and romance, Leigh will keep you flipping the pages.” – Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Minutes to Kill hooked me from the opening scene…  Melinda knows how to write an intriguing story line and she’s brilliant at pacing and writing action scenes.” – USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Jaynes

“This gripping Las Vegas tale is worth the gamble to stay up all night racing to the mind-blowing ending.”—RT Book Reviews


About the Author:
Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing as a way to preserve her sanity while raising her kids. Over the next few years, she learned a few things about writing a book and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. Her bestselling books have been nominated for the Daphne du Maurier Award three times.

Melinda holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate. She’s dabbled in Arnis stick fighting, studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and taught women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two kids, two rescue dogs and two shelter cats who clearly run the show. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination. Find out more about Melinda by visiting melindaleighauthor.com.

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Blog Tour... Shari J Ryan's Red Nights


I’m Felicity Stone, a twenty-five-year-old with my whole life ahead of me. Well, until recently.

I didn’t do it. Why would they think I did? Why would I want my twin brother dead? Why is everyone looking at me like I’m a criminal?

Well, everyone except him… Hayes Peyton, the charmingly beautiful stranger I met in the park at midnight—a totally legitimate place to meet the man of my dreams. Plus, he knows I’m innocent.

Believing him is easy. So very easy. Maybe too easy?

But when you hear things like: ‘All good is laced with some bad, and everything you think is the truth—is nothing more than a blatant lie,’ it makes you question reality.

In Shari J. Ryan’s latest Romantic Suspense, Red Nights, you wonder how dark your world can get before all you see is red.

Purchase your today at... 

"Great night for a walk." I can hardly hear him over the rain, but his words don't quite matter. I've been waiting to kiss him since the moment I saw him sitting in a booth at the restaurant tonight. 
First kisses are always nerve-wracking and full of surprise, but second kisses are full of anticipation thanks to what I already know, what I've already had a taste of. "I really like you," he says, loud enough to drown out the heavy rainfall. 
I can't invite him in…is that why he's stalling? I point upstairs. "Aspen, my friend I'm crashing with, would ask you a million questions if you came up. I—"
"Oh, no. No. I wasn't waiting for an invitation. I have a ‘seven date’ rule anyway." I can see him fighting the urge to smile, but he’s losing that battle.
"’Seven date’ rule?" I laugh. 
"Yeah, it’s dumb.” He runs a palm down the side of his face. “Because I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make it that long." He leans in, stealing a quick kiss. But I feel cheated. I want more. 
"How do you know we'll last seven dates?" I ask.
"Good point. I probably won't be able to put up with you for that long." I know he's teasing. But ugh. Damn him and that smile. 
I throw my arms around his neck and crash my lips into his. His body tightens, maybe from surprise, but it takes less than a second for him to relax. He strips me of my control, pushing me up against the brick wall, his body heavy against mine. Even with the rain sloshing between us, his hands find my cheeks. His tongue sweeps across my lips. 
I’ve changed my mind. 
I'll bring him upstairs. 
I don't give a shit what Aspen does. I want him. I need him to keep making me forget. 
"Come up," I say in almost nothing but a breathless whisper. 
He bites down on his bottom lip, appears to think about my offer, then shakes his head in this seductive slow motion, making this moment painfully enjoyable. "Not tonight," he says, placing a small kiss on the tip of my nose. His hand is clutched around my waist and everything within me hurts and aches for him. "Good-night, Blondie-locks." He turns and leaves in the rain, and I watch him go.
It has been a good night. A very good night, actually. 
And it all ends when I get upstairs…

Barb's Review:
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First off, thank you Shari Ryan and Booktrope for providing me with a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. Second… just hell. Love it!! Like completely, missing sleep to read kind of love. (laughs) But that is normal for one of Shari’s books. I loved this story. Page one draws you in. By the end of chapter one you will be like O.O and after that its GAME ON! I swear I fell asleep a few nights in a row reading and woke up with my kindle on my face. LOL. I could not put it down. I am usually better at figuring out the ‘Who did it?’ and the ‘Why?’ but this one… It’s like the game Clue. every page you turned you got more hints, more thoughts of ‘Oh yeah it was so and so…” only to turn back around and gain and be like, “Well damn. I thought it was so and so… guess not now.”

As I said, the first page grabbed my attention. I was seriously like, “what the hell?” In a good way of course. Felicity, chef, daughter, friend and sister is having a bad night. Waking up surrounded by smoke and flames… it’s not what any of us want to wake up to but for her it gets worse. Her twin brother Blake was in the house. He wasn’t supposed to be home but was. This sets off a trail of mood changing events for Felicity. Her brother, her best friend is gone, her home is destroyed and she is lost in a black cloud of guilt. She blames herself for not saving Blake. But in the dark cloud of despair there is a moment or two of light in the form of Hayes Payton.

There are moments in life that you just know that person you meet is special, that they were sent to you by.. whatever force there is to send you a person that can complete you. Call it cupid, kizmit, whatever, it is a real thing. I believe that and I think that Hayes and our sweet little Felicity are the benefactors of such a thing. The relationship between them grows into a safe haven even if the fear and underlying weariness is there. But no coupling is idiot proof. So it only takes a bit of doubt to turn Felicities entire world upside down, turn it inside out and then have someone stomp on it with a heel until it falls apart. But ya know, everything that is broken can be fixed. It may need some tape, a little glue and if all else fails, duct tape. And Felicity needs a lot of it and some patience. The poor girl is strung tighter than a yarn ball. Not that anyone could blame her. its hell not knowing who around you can be trusted. Who is out to get you. Kill you even.

Finally with a little extra help things start to fall into place for Felicity. And once again she is in a place of wonder. Does she believe what is happening or does she wait for the iron to strike her again? Its a choice that only she can make. You have to be one with your choices. When your life literally hangs in the balance.. either from a psychopathic killer or the prospect of life in jail…. what do you do? You listen to that inner voice that when it's not being an ass leads to you water (so to speak). Justice does prevail. Its that whole battle of good versus evil but that in and of itself is the ultimate battle. What is good, what is evil and how do you recoup from one to overcome the other? Is there a healing time that we get or do you just march forward, head held high and ignore it all? See it’s a never ending cycle. Its why you take each day as the last and live, laugh and love while you still can.

I think I am now in a book hangover… maybe I know I am and I really, really could see more of this story. (clears my throat) I shall go stalk.. I mean talk to Shari about that because I am having withdrawals. lol Gotta love a kick-ass story that makes your brain over think every page you just read.. but in a totally epic way. Just LOVED it!

About the Author:

Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates. When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

To learn more, visit her at, www.sharijryan.com.


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Cover Reveal... Roxy Sloane's The Scene

Title: The Scene
Series: The Scene #1
Author: Roxy Sloane
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Designs
 Release Date: July 15, 2015

Miami. The city of sex, sin — and secrets. 

I came here with one mission: solve the mystery behind my brother’s death. 
Somebody’s got answers. 
Somewhere, I’ll find what I’m looking for.

I didn’t bet on Xavier. He’s my way into the scene — and my biggest threat. 
I should keep my distance, but I can’t stay away.

I'm playing with fire, and I just pray I don't get burned.

The Scene Part 2

Release Date: July 22, 2015

The Scene Part 3

Release Date: August 5, 2015

Author Bio
Roxy Sloane is a romance junkie with a dirty mind. She lives in Los Angeles with her hot ex-military hubby and her two kids. She loves writing sexy, complex stories about pushing the boundaries and risking it all.

Author Links

Book Blitz... Clodaugh Murphy's Some Girls Do

Title: Some Girls Do
Author: Clodagh Murphy
 Release Date: June 24, 2015

Claire Kennedy, aka internet sensation NiceGirl, is the anonymous author of a steamy sex blog. Little do her fans know that bookish Claire isn't quite as experienced in the bedroom as her online persona. But everyone makes stuff up on the internet, right?

Except that NiceGirl attracts the attention of London publisher Mark Bell. Handsome, charming and successful, Mark is soon offering Claire the life she's always dreamed of - a steady relationship, the literary world of London and a hot book deal.

But when Claire enlists the help of brooding artist Luca to brush up on her sex skills before Mark discovers she's a fraud, things begin to get complicated ...

Links to Buy

Author Bio

Clodagh Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland. She is a compulsive writer, an inveterate dreamer, a devoted aunt, an enthusiastic traveller and an expert procrastinator. She loves writing funny, sexy, romantic stories with lots of kissing. Her writing heroine is Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone.

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