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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Reckless Deceptions (Dallas after Dark #3) by Karen Rock

Book details:

Reckless Deceptions
by Karen Rock
(Dallas After Dark)
Publication date: December 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:

DESIRE WITH NO LIMITS

Erica Keeley has always been willing to break the rules to catch a criminal, until her unorthodox tactics get her booted from the CIA and betrayed by the man she trusted. Now, gone rogue to stop a terrorist group, she’s working undercover at Dallas’s top male strip and burlesque club, dancing alongside sexy, sculpted men. Not that any of her co-workers give her the adrenaline rush she got from her former life. Erica hits the jackpot when she overhears her targets discussing a homegrown terrorist plot. But her last shot at redemption means getting up close and personal with her traitorous ex.

Control is what CIA officer Ryan Arnell values above all things. Yet he was irresistibly drawn to Erica’s impulsive, uninhibited nature in the field—and in bed—until her bull-headed tactics risked the agency’s mission. Teaming up to stop a deadly attack, he’s falling again for this spontaneous, high-octane woman. And with Erica’s ties to the terrorists proving closer than either of them expected, the riskiest mission of all might be this second chance at love . . .


“A highly entertaining and cohesive suspense novel with an emotionally satisfying romance that will keep readers glued to the page.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars on Dangerous Moves

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4 out of 5 (very good)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


This is book three in the Dallas After Dark series, but you don't need to have read the other two before this: these are very much stand alone books. 

After going rogue Erica is working at Dallas Heat, trying to clear her name. Ryan is in town on family business, but also following up his own leads to catch an international terrorist who might be in town. When Erica and Ryan cross paths again, and that terrorist is a little closer to home than they thought, Ryan follows his instincts, going against everything to keep Erica safe. 

For the most part, I DID enjoy this. It was mostly the HUGE cast of minor characters who, while needing to be talked about and mentioned, that I struggled to keep up with. So many names I just glanced over, not putting the terrorist threat bit together, at all, but I resigned myself to that and after that, I did enjoy it. 

Erica and Ryan have history, and it's clear right from the start that the chemistry they had two years ago is still burning bright and hot. Ryan wanted Erica forever then, but the situation blew up around them and Erica was booted out the CIA and Ryan had a hand in that. He regretted that, but still. Revisiting that chemistry would be a bad thing, but when forced into close contact, trying to stop this terrorist, the inevitable happens. It's not until he nearly loses Erica does Ryan finally get his head out his ass and listen to his HEART! 

I loved the banter between these two, it bubbles and simmers along in the book, and I thought they would give in far sooner than they do! Loved that Ryan was finally able to break free of his strict upbringing and to break the control he feels he needs to hang on to, and that it was Erica who made him see that. 

Both Erica and Ryan have a say, but Ryan speaks first, and that surprised me for some reason! Rock keeps throwing me for a loop with these books! 

Aside from the never ending list of suspects, I DID enjoy this so. . . 

4 solid stars

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* I received a copy of this book with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *



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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) - ends 20th December


$50 Amazon gift card

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Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet & spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of YA and adult contemporary books writes spicy suspense and small-town romances. A big believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers smiling. Karen is an avid reader and baker who loves having the Adirondack Park as her backyard, where she lives with her husband and daughter who make her life complete.

Author links:

Tour Organised by: Xpresso Book Tours


Monday, 10 December 2018

REVIEW TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - The Storm Within (Soul Mate Tree #11) by Cerian Hebert



GENRE:   

Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              

BLURB:

Healed from her own loss, Juliana Hopkins wants nothing more than to mend reclusive artist Aidan Byrne’s heart, and help close a chapter in his life that has haunted him for over twenty years. Risking their newfound love, Juliana is determined to release the ghosts he can’t let go.

Aidan has been in love with Juliana since the first moment he saw her, but if she can’t leave the tragedies of his past alone, he won’t be able to make a life with her.

She offers him a love he never dared to want, but loving her could rip open all the old wounds he’d never been able to heal.



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“Todd!”

Her husband’s name was ripped from her throat, twisted up with the sound of metal crushing around them. Juliana fought to grab on to anything as the car tumbled like a child’s toy, an endless somersault. She wanted to close her eyes, but the sight of Todd’s limp body, flung back and forth, held her horrified attention. Blood from the gash on his head splattered across her face.

Todd!”

Before his name could leave her lips, Juliana sat up in bed, her fingers clutching the sheets around her body in a death grip until the sensation of being thrown around subsided, and the sight of Todd’s broken body faded to black.

“It’s just a dream,” she whispered.

When she swallowed—too hard—her throat hurt, as if she’d screamed it raw. She probably had. Over the past year she’d woken this way more often than not.

A dream, but based on reality.

And she relived it over and over again.

Juliana eased her hold on the sheet and ran a hand over the empty side of the bed where Todd used to sleep. For five blissful years they’d shared this bed, had planned on sharing it for another sixty or more.

Fate had different plans for them.

Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and now the room filled with moonlight and a green glow from the clock on the table next to her bed. She focused on the numbers on the display. Midnight. Again.

Universal Link




4 out of 5 (very good)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


Well, this was a pleasant surprise! This book was quite a good read. It held my attention, and kept me reading.

I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters, Julia & Aidan. Their love wasn't "easy" and it wasn't perfect. I enjoyed reading the way their characters were written. It was a bit of a roller coaster but that's what really kept the story flowing I think.

Details and descriptions were right on par. The story was easy to follow without much question and was easy to visualize. It amped up certain parts of the story and pulled at the heart strings a little more.

I wish the story might have been a little longer. It felt like it ended a little too fast and felt as if maybe the author rushed the ending a bit. I would have appreciated it to be a little longer and not felt as if their relationship was "rushed".

All in all, it was a great read. The story really held my attention and the characters were great. I'd recommend this one for sure.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE




Cerian Hebert will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Originally from Minnesota, Cerian is currently settled in southwestern New Hampshire with her husband and two of her four children plus a dog, cat and two geckos. She's known she wanted to write since she was twelve, and between mucking stalls in New York and booking cruises in Maine, she's been filling notebooks and flash drives with her stories in pursuit of her dreams.

Currently she has 10 published books (No Going Back, Where One Road Leads, The Staying Kind, Going Going Gone, and  The Storm Within from Soul Mate Publishing, and The Better Man, Do Overs, Finally Home, Light The Way Home, and That Kind of Magic self-published at Amazon). She’s looking forward to adding to this list.

Cerian is a PAN member of RWA, Contemporary Romance Writers and New Hampshire Romance Writers of America.

Social Media Links:

Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Ceri-Hebert/e/B003NTI0HU


Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions 


Friday, 7 December 2018

REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Home For Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Texas Series
Book #1 - The Heart of Texas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Texas Winter - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 - Texas Heat - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 - Texas Family - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 - Texas Christmas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 - Texas Fall - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #7 - Texas Wedding - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #8 - Texas Gift - Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.


Chapter 1


Connor skidded to a stop.

The cold December wind whipped around his face, ice and snow knifing into his skin, and at first, he couldn’t make sense of what he was seeing.

Maybe he should have stopped, called 911, shouted for help, but it could’ve been too late, so he’d acted on instinct alone. He’d taken the four flights of stairs at a run, reaching the roof and throwing the door open. His lungs burned from the freezing air and his voice had gone. What now?

Why was River on the roof in nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, clearly drunk? Why was he standing on the ledge, his feet spread, his arms wide, and a bottle of vodka in his hand?

When the girl from his floor told him she’d seen River go up to the roof, he thought she’d meant something else. He often went up there to read or watch life go by. But not in a snow storm.

He didn’t expect to see River standing on the ledge in the snow.

Don’t scare him. He’ll stumble and fall. He might jump.

A gust of air slapped Connor. River swayed to the left but righted himself with the casual grace of a gymnast. River wouldn’t fall by accident. Hell, Connor had seen him balance on one hand on a diving board, perfectly still, before falling gracefully and accurately with spins and pikes into the water below. He’d never seen River falter.

“River?” Connor asked, only an inch from grabbing River’s shirt and holding him tight. He saw River tense, but he didn’t wobble in surprise or slip and fall to the ground.

“I canbalance. Look at me.” River sounded so damn proud of himself.

Connor took a small step forward, finally being able to hold River’s shirt, hoping to hell that would be enough to stop River from falling.

“Come down, buddy.”

River lifted the bottle over his head, sloshing alcohol over his hair, his tongue flicking out to catch any that ran over his face.

“Fuck,” he shouted.

Connor tugged at him, not knowing what else to do. “Come back,” he said, loud enough that River actually looked at him.

“Leave me alone,” he said.

“I’m not leaving you on the roof,” Connor snapped and got a better hold of River, hooking a finger into his belt. River wasn’t a big guy, a diver’s body, no more than five ten and a buck sixty soaking wet, but if he fell, would Connor be able to hold him long enough to save him?

River pulled against Connor’s grip, and for a second the world stopped turning as Connor had to use his entire body weight to keep him upright. Something about the action must have scared River. He cursed and rocked backward, but he still wouldn’t come down.

“Come down,” Connor pleaded. “You’re scaring me.”

“You think you gotta save me? Huh?” River threw his arms wide again, more alcohol sloshing over the top of the bottle. “I don’t need saving.”

“I want you to come down.” Connor tried for calm. What was he doing? He should have called the cops immediately when he spotted River. Or firefighters, negotiators? Or whoever the hell should’ve been here. He’d seen things like this on the television, the mediator knowing all the right things to say and do, standing by River and connecting him to his family or childhood or his faith. All Connor knew was that he needed to pull River down, use the only thing he had going for him; the fact that he was bigger and stronger.

“I like it up here!” River explained with another wide gesture. He wobbled a little but righted himself immediately.

“Come down, Riv.”

“Saint Connor tries to save everyone,” River shouted, ending with a hysterical laugh. He was clearly losing control of himself, and even if Connor did have the words to talk him down, he thought maybe he’d just yank River back onto the concrete roof of the building and worry about injuries later.

But River wasn’t finished. “Even if they don’t need saving!”

“River!”

“Who the hell cares if I can balance, huh?”

“I care,” Connor shouted back. This was so out of character.

“Yeah, right, telling me what Christmas and family is like for you, making me see it in my head, and then leaving me here alone.”

“River, please.” Connor tugged him, but River wouldn’t move back.

“Leaving me here, alone, because that’s all anyone ever does. They fuck off, leave me, and what happens when college is over, huh? What happens when I lose that?” He lifted one clenched fist to the sky. “Fuck you!”

Connor had never heard River curse like this, and he was done with holding on to him. So evaluating where they would end up if they fell backward and not caring how much it hurt, he yanked, hard. River tumbled with him, arms flailing and the vodka bottle slipping from his grasp and falling into the tub of snow-covered plants on the roof patio. The two of them fell onto the roof, Connor using his body to cushion River’s descent, getting his arms full of an icy cold man, the breath forced from his lungs when they hit the ground.

Connor enveloped him in his arms and locked his hands in place, fighting a frozen, wet, drunk River. He wouldn’t get free. Connor had his pappa’s height, a rancher’s build, and he was a solid anchor in the wind and snow. There was no point in River fighting, and somehow he must have realized he couldn’t get free and went still in Connor’s arms.

All Connor could think was that he’d wanted River back in his arms for a long time now, but he’d expected soft lighting and mood music, not driving winds and snow.

“What the hell are you doing?” Connor demanded.

“Let me the fuck go.”

“Jesus, are you trying to kill yourself?”

River attempted to wriggle free. Connor’s grip didn’t falter in his hold. With his arms securely around River, he shuffled them back so they were protected by the low wall. He wanted to get them back inside, but he wasn’t ready to let River go yet, and the door was at least ten feet away. What if River wriggled free and ran for the ledge? The idea of River on the ground, twisted in death, blood… Connor didn’t want to think about it. He opened his coat, one-handed, and then pulled River closer, trying to get as much of the material to go over him, attempting to keep them both warm. River’s skin was like ice. How long had he been standing up there?

“What were you doing?” he demanded, but River didn’t reply, only burrowed deeper into Connor’s hold. This was stupid. He needed to get them off the roof, or he needed help. His phone was in the car. The campus was emptying for Christmas. It was ten a.m., snowing. What the hell was he going to do now?

“I have no one,” River muttered, then laughed and buried his face deeper.

“What do you mean? Talk to me, River.”

“No.”

“We need to get inside.”

How the hell do I get River inside?

He imagined struggling with River’s weight, trying to get him down four flights of stairs and across to his room. Maybe if he could just get him to the car, with its heated seats and the warm air blower and the coffee in a flask that Connor had made for the start of his journey back to Dallas. Then he could call someone, the cops or a doctor? That seemed like a plan, a focus. He scrambled to his feet, bringing River with him, and stumbled inside. As soon as the door shut, warmth hit them, prickling at his exposed skin, and he moved toward the radiator, still gripping River’s belt. He let go of him long enough to remove his jacket and place it around the shivering man’s shoulders.

River buried himself in the coat, and Connor went into disaster assessment mode. He’d seen hypothermia back home at the D, and it wasn’t pretty. He remembered his pappa saying there were signs to look for, and when Jack spoke, Connor always listened. He pulled up the facts he could remember. Did River have hypothermia? His teeth weren’t chattering, and he wasn’t talking at all, so it wasn’t obvious if he was slurring. Then, even if he did talk and his speech was slurry, how could Connor tell how much vodka he’d drunk? Connor tried to remember the symptoms. The college hospital wasn’t far away. He could drive there, and they would help.

Why the hell did I leave my phone in the damned car?

“It’s okay. I’m okay.”

“No, you’re not.”

“You can go,” River said dully. He wriggled closer to the radiator.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“But you are,” River murmured. “You kissed me, you got me off, and now you’re leaving today.” Then he hid his face in his hands. “Shit, shit, shit.”

Wait. Was this about what happened at the thanksgiving party?

Is this my fault?

Connor didn’t usually drink that much, but he’d had one beer too many at the party, to the point where he had all the courage he needed to wait for River to come out of the bathroom.

“Can I kiss you?” he’d asked, and River had stared at him, stone-cold sober and narrow-eyed.

But then, holy shit, River had pushed him back into the nearest bedroom, shut the door, and the kiss had turned into something more, hands tangled in hair, the two of them kissing and rutting against each other until they were coming in their jeans. Really unromantic. Nothing more than getting off, and River had left before Connor could even get his breath back. Not the best of outcomes. Then River had ignored him. Not returning texts, no more study sessions in the library, and he’d even missed the last lecture of the semester.

All of that told Connor on thing: River wasn’t interested in anything more with him. But that didn’t mean they weren’t still friends. They sat in silence for a few minutes, River’s face still buried in his hands, and he was clearly crying.

What the hell should I do now?


4 out of 5 (very good)


Home for Christmas is the ninth book in the Texas series, and we reunite with the Campbell-Hayes clan. It starts with Christmas (obviously) and Connor ready to make his way home. Before he goes though, he has to rescue a friend from a roof. River is blind drunk and speaks about things he had wanted to keep from Connor. Connor decides to throw an intervention, and the story starts.

Connor admits to being a fixer, and he thinks River needs fixing. The only trouble is, he doesn't really know River that well, and therefore has no idea on what to fix.

It was good catching up with the clan again, and I love how Jack and Riley still have their say, and insights, in their children's lives. Personally, I would have liked a bit more about River and his past, his condition, and what it took to move him forward, but this is only a short novel so I guess I can't have everything.

As with all of R.J. Scott's books, this was smoothly written, with some angst, and definitely some sexy times. The characters are wonderful to return to, and the scenery is breathtaking, making me want to see their ranch in real life. 

Another winner for this author, and the series. I know this is supposed to be the final book, but is it really...? I hope not! Definitely recommended by me.

* I received a copy of this book with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

BOOK BLITZ, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Defensive Play (Boys on the Brink) by Jamie Deacon



DefensivePlay_OutNow

Title: Defensive Play

Series: A Boys on the Brink Novella

Author: Jamie Deacon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: November 30, 2018

Genre: Gay YA Sports Romance

Length: 21,500 words

DefensivePlay

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One glance is all it takes to bring his defences crashing down…

Seventeen-year-old Davey has never made friends easily. Shy, geeky, crippled with social anxiety, he feels isolated from his peers, and only his position as defender for the school football team fills the void of loneliness. On the pitch, his deft footwork has earned him the respect and acceptance of his squad, though at a price. Desperate to hold onto this camaraderie, Davey conceals the truth from everyone, even his own family.

Then, during the annual Brookshire football tournament, his eyes meet those of a rival player across the field and a spark flares between them, one neither boy can deny. Adam is everything Davey longs to be—confident, popular, comfortable with his sexuality. Davey aches to explore their connection, to discover where it might lead, but how can he follow his heart and risk rejection by his teammates, the closest thing to friends he has ever known?

The rain has stopped. A soft mist hangs in the air, turning the distant streetlights a hazy orange. After the stuffiness of the clubhouse, the night is bitterly cold and I pull on my sweatshirt against the chill. I sit on the steps overlooking the car park, heedless of the damp that seeps through my jeans. Elbows on knees, I rest my chin in my hands and close my eyes, attempting to clear my mind. I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to sit with nothing but the dark and the quiet for company.

I haven’t been hunched there long when the door opens, ejecting a stream of warmth and thumping bass. I glance behind me, although I know who it will be. My body goes still. Adam lets the door swing shut and, just like that, we’re alone.

He doesn’t seem surprised to find me on the steps. Perhaps he saw me leave. Has he followed me? My insides clench. What if Adam thinks I did it deliberately, that I meant to lure him out here. Maybe I had. Maybe, deep down, a part of me hoped Adam might come, even while the rest of me prayed he wouldn’t.

This time, when our gazes connect, there’s no one to see, no football match to act as a buffer. I drink him in. Even in the faint glow filtering through the frosted pane in the door, his eyes are a vivid blue.

“Hey,” Adam says. Such a simple word that expresses so much. There’s recognition there, like we’re childhood friends meeting after years apart, but uncertainty, too. He has a nice voice, I register through my turbulent thoughts—warm and slightly husky.

“Hey.” My reply emerges somewhere between a croak and a squeak. Cringing, I stare down at my feet.

“It’s Davey, right?”

I fling him a startled look. Had this boy—this confident, gorgeous boy—actually gone to the trouble of finding out my name?

One side of Adam’s mouth lifts in a crooked smile. “Well, I had to know who the lunatic was who almost took my leg off.”

“God.” I bury my face in my hands. Of course Adam was going to ask about me after what happened on the pitch. “I’m so sorry.”

He laughs and nudges my thigh with the toe of his trainer. “I’m kidding. Seriously, you did us a favour.”

I dare a peep at him, unable to rid myself of the thought that he has pursued me out here to take the piss. That wouldn’t be anything new, after all.

“It’s true.” Adam crouches on the step beside me, his expression amused but without malice. “Rob warned me about you. He said the rest of your defence was pretty solid, but probably weren’t quick enough to catch me. You were the real threat.”

I grimace. “I’m guessing he wasn’t expecting me to take you out quite so spectacularly, though.”

“Funnily enough, that wasn’t included in the pep talk. Still, I should be thanking you. You made our job a whole lot easier.”

“Don’t remind me. You should’ve heard the guys after the match. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

Adam laughs again, and I can’t hold back a smile. Here I am, having an actual conversation with an amazing-looking boy—a boy who’d caught me checking him out, no less—and I’m not making an ass of myself.

The door behind us bursts open and several guys spill out. I tense, guard raised. Will they think it odd us sitting out here alone? I scan their faces, but none are from Farnstead. A moment later, they barrel down the steps without giving either of us a second look and head for one of the cars parked nearby.

As they pile in and the engine growls to life, I exhale, shoulders slumping. I can feel Adam studying me and keep my gaze lowered.

“You’re not out,” he says, “are you?”

“What?” My entire body goes rigid. He knows. I’d already guessed as much, but suspecting it is one thing; being confronted with the indisputable truth sends me spiralling back into panic mode. Why had he really followed me out here? I’d thought…been sure I’d read something in his eyes when they locked with mine, but what if I’m wrong? Do I truly believe someone like Adam, someone popular and self-assured, would have sought me out? Unless…

I see again the Brookminster players in their huddle, sniggering, moments after Adam caught me staring. I’d reassured myself they weren’t laughing about me, but perhaps my fears had been well founded. The cold certainty settles like a snowball in my gut. I’d given myself away, and now the other lads have sent Adam out here to chat me up, trick me into an admission I won’t be able to take back. For all I know, his mates are somewhere close by as we speak, listening in.

“Hey.” Adam extends his palms in what is probably supposed to be a calming gesture. “It’s all right. I know and it’s all right.”

“You don’t know anything,” I snap. The instinct for self-preservation, to keep my protective wall intact at any cost, propels me to my feet. “You hear me? You don’t know anything about me.”

Before he can respond, I’m down the steps and sprinting into the darkness, phone already out to call my parents. All I want is to go home, crawl into bed, and forget today ever happened.

4 out of 5 (very good)


Defensive Play is the first book by this author I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Davey knows he is gay, but he hasn't told anyone. He is a geek who has managed to earn the respect of his football team, and he is worried if he comes out, he will lose that. He thinks he has it all under control, until Adam shows up. With one glance, Davey starts to become unraveled.

This was a sweet story, with some angst in tune with the story. Mostly, it is about Davey and how he feels, what he will do, and what will the fall out be. It is a novella, so expect the pacing to be fairly fast. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow.

A thoroughly enjoyable story, and I look forward to reading more by this author. Definitely recommended by me.

* I received a copy of this book with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Kindle UK | Kindle US | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo | Smashwords | Beaten Track Publishing


Rainbow Books
Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are forced to navigate the sometimes painful reality of growing up, coming out, and falling in love.

Connect with Jamie


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

To celebrate the release of Defensive Play, Jamie Deacon is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to entrants world wide, and closes at midnight EST on Friday December 7, 2018.

Good luck!

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VBT, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY: Song of the Boricua by Olivia Castillo





GENRE

Fiction

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.


Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.
Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?
Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.
Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.


New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos' fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.



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Josephina
Yauco, Puerto Rico, February 1932
A young man Josephina had never seen was toiling alongside the workers. He had black hair and was very tan. She watched him work and felt an unfamiliar feeling come over her.
It was something she had never experienced before. She heard Marie chuckle beside her. “Il est beau,” Marie said with a knowing little smile.

Josephina’s cheeks turned as bright as a Poinciana flower. “Mon enfant, he’s like you, an orphan. Le petre asked if we could hire him. How could I deny him, fille?” Marie asked, shaking her head wearily.

We have nothing, but when our priest speaks, how can we refuse direction from up high?”
Marie kissed the rosary she had around her neck and made the sign of the cross. She closed her eyes, fanning herself.

Josephina peeked at him, trying not to be obvious. The young man stood up, wiping the sweat from his brow, and took off his hat. He looked toward the house and spotted Josephina staring at him.

She quickly turned away, embarrassed. Again, with telepathic clarity, Marie spoke gently beside her. “His name is Alejandro. He is such a nice boy. I will introduce you aprés mon somme—after my nap.”

A flushed Josephina quickly protested “Mère, no, you must not.” Marie chuckled louder, the wrinkles around her eyes deepening. “Listen to your old mère.
You need to be with people your own age, not us vieux gens, old people.”


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Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

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