A Tempting Ruin Release Blitz

Title: A Tempting Ruin
Author: Kristin Vayden
Genre: Regency
Series: Greenford Waters Legacy
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Release Date: July 28th

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Synopsis

He might be a gentleman by title, but he was a rogue at heart…

Beatrix Lamont is in hiding. Sequestered at Lady Southridge’s country estate, she assumes the identity of a lady’s companion: never once expecting her past would catch up with her.
It does, however, in the vexing and seducting form of Lord Neville.
Determined and far too charming for his own good–after all who simply demands a woman marry him?
Not a gentleman.

Lucky for Lord Neville, being a gentleman has never been an option, especially when it comes to Beatrix, the woman would try the patient of a saint, and every encounter with her leaves his body yearning for more.
Caught between wanting her for himself and needing to protect her from dangers that lurk in the shadows of both their pasts, he must eventually make a choice.
Become the gentleman he’s never been–or play the seducer she brings out in him, and hope in the end she’ll forgive him for using her to catch a killer.

***This is an Interconnected Standalone***

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Excerpt

“Good afternoon.” Lord Neville’s voice broke through the serene silence of the orangery, startling Beatrix and causing her heart to practically take flight. Quickly she spun to face the man speaking, a hand covering her heart as she willed the racing cadence to abate.

His grey eyes took her in with a calculating glint as he lazily stood from his perch on the alcove bench.

There was nothing for it; he knew. It was useless to pretend otherwise. “Hello, Lord Neville. Were the theatrics to your liking?” Beatrix asked with a saucy lilt to her tone as she watched him close the distance.

He clapped slowly, drawing out the gesture. “It might have fooled me…” he replied offhandedly as he shrugged.

“But?” Beatrix asked.

“It was your hands.”

“Pardon?” Beatrix asked, confused as she lifted her hands and inspected them.

“When you’re nervous, you tend to touch your fingertips to your thumb in succession. It’s a telling habit.”

“I do?” Beatrix asked as she studied her hands once more then turned her gaze to the man before her.

“Yes.”

“How did you know—“

“The library.”

Beatrix caught her breath then released it slowly, but she could tell by the spark in his gaze that he hadn’t missed her reaction.

Damn the man.

The library… it was nothing. Rather, it should have been nothing.

“Oh.” She tried to recover.

His amused chuckle caused her to narrow her eyes, but, rather than show any remorse, his grin grew.

Becoming more devastatingly alluring by the moment.

Heaven help her, but she was helpless against the man. She shouldn’t be. There had been just a few stolen moments shared… nothing lasting.

Nothing that should create such a draw.

But it was there, nonetheless.

“You’re doing it again.” He glanced down to her fingers then met her gaze once more.

Sure enough, she felt her fingers pause as she realized he was indeed correct. How was it that she had never noticed that about herself, yet he, a… well, not a total stranger… had memorized such a nuance?

“Be that as it may…” Beatrix straightened her shoulders and took a few steps to the left, avoiding his direct approach. “…what is it that you want?” she asked in a clipped tone.

“The truth,” he replied softly, tilting his head.

“Concerning?” Beatrix asked, taking another side step toward a leafy orange tree.

“Concerning why you’re here, of course.”

“I would think it’s obvious,” Beatrix replied loftily as she wound around the orange tree’s trunk, keeping an eye on the approaching lord.

Lord Neville clicked his tongue and shook his head, all the while sending her a mischievous grin that melted her insides. “Miss Lamont, we both know that I’m after far more than the obvious… or, in this case… what you wish for me to believe. I’ll warn you that I’m not so easily deterred.”

“Oh, is that so?” Beatrix sent him an arch look. “It would seem that you are quite… easily startled,” she shot back.

His gaze narrowed as he paused in his approach. “What made you create such an assumption?”

“Why, the library of course.” She bit back a grin at the irritated flash in his gaze upon turning the tables back on him.

“The library? Tell me, Miss Lamont, was that before or after I compromised you?” he asked with a dark grin.

“You — oh! You know very well that—“

“That if any matron of society had stumbled into our cozy little interlude you would have been ruined… which was why I walked away. Walked… not ran… as you just implied.”

Beatrix bit her lip and glanced away, hating that he was right and had used her shortsighted attempt at victory to turn her own wit against her.

Miserable man.

“You did leave… the next day, that is,” she reminded him, watching his expression as it was fixed upon her.

“I did,” he replied then took another step toward her.

She placed the tree between them but peeked around the trunk. “Why?” she asked, unable to meet his regard as she spoke.

“Why?” he repeated softly.

Beatrix swallowed her cursed pride and glanced up, compelled by her curiosity to be brave. “Why did you leave so abruptly?”

“For being so expertly compromised—“

“Oh bother.” Beatrix rolled her eyes and stepped away, irritated, and gave her back to the lord. “It was a kiss—“

“Perhaps for you…” Lord Neville’s hand grasped hers and halted her recession.

Just as she remembered, his hand was warm, enveloping hers completely. A shiver of delighted expectation ripped through her as she slowly turned to face him. Blinking, she waited as his gaze roamed her features and settled on her lips.

“As I was saying… for being so expertly compromised…” Amusement danced in his expression. “…you’re truly innocent. I do believe I will have to remedy that,” he whispered as he leaned in and brushed a whisper of a kiss across her jaw.

It was as if a thousand butterflies took wing in her belly as she caught the masculine scent of his skin so close to hers. She should reprimand him for taking such liberties…

But she rather liked that he was.

He withdrew and studied her, as if asking if he should continue. Reaching up, Beatrix stroked his jaw, memorizing the texture of his slight stubble as it tugged at the fabric of her glove.

Without hesitation, he pulled her in, meeting her mouth in a kiss that was as intense as it was powerful. Strong arms enveloped her, drawing her into the lee of his commanding presence. His kiss demanded she return the passion, and, without a thought, she kissed him back, instinctively. His flavor was familiar and igniting, comforting and compelling all at once. The soft scent of the orange grove swirled around her, adding to the magic of the moment. His teeth tugged at her lower lip as he pressed against her, reminding her of the power in his arms. Reaching up, she allowed her fingers the delight of exploring the planes and ridges of his shoulders, adding to the attraction already smoldering within.

His fingers traced up her arms, teasing the ribbon at her neckline then lacing behind her head as if removing himself from a sweet temptation. His kiss gentled as he continued to playfully nip at her lips. Beatrix held him close, losing herself in the moment, committing every nuance to memory as she traced his lower lip with her tongue as he lingered.

“Come away with me,” he whispered against her mouth.

“No,” she replied, nipping his lip impishly. Surely he hadn’t asked in earnest.

He pulled her in tighter with a slightly irritated growl before he lowered his head to trail kisses down her neck. “Yes.”

“No… you’re mad.” Beatrix spoke far too breathlessly to be taken seriously.

His tongue tickled her neck as he whispered, “I prefer persuasive.”

“I’d say incessant,” she shot back as she leaned away to meet his gaze.

He grinned then reached up to tug on a curl that had fallen near her face. “Incessantly persuasive.”

“Fair… but you must know that I cannot go anywhere with you. I’m here with Lady Southridge, and I cannot leave.”

“Why?” His grin faded. “It is all but apparent that you were not abducted, as I was led to believe, and, according to my deductions from reason, it is only logical that the duke was at least somehow aware that Lady Southridge took you away. Dear heavens…” He took a step back. “…please tell me she has not deluded herself into thinking she’s your protection!”

“I have no idea to what you are referring—“

“You indeed do, so do not insult my intelligence with so weak a lie.” He spoke in clipped tones.

Beatrix folded her hands in front of herself and stepped away. “I’m afraid I cannot give to you that which you ask.”

“Then I’m afraid I have no other option,” Lord Neville replied and started toward her.

“Wh-what do you think you’re doing?” Beatrix asked, not sure how to interpret the determined gleam in his eye.

“What I should have done in the library months ago,” he mumbled.

Beatrix backed up till she felt the cool stone wall at her back. At his knowing grin, she narrowed her eyes and turned to run.

But he was too quick. In one motion, he swept her into his arms and proceeded to walk toward the orangery’s exit.

“What are you doing?” Beatrix demanded as she struggled in his arms. One foot was able to get a proper kick to his person, and he grunted in response.

“Miss Lamont, I’ll be quite upset if you ruin this jacket,” he replied with far too much control.

Irritated by his composed attitude, Beatrix gave another kick just to spite him.

“You’ll pay for that later,” he promised.

“We shall see about that. Now, let me down! I demand it!” she shrieked as she bucked in his arms again. “What exactly are you planning to do? Waltz up to Breckridge House and knock on the door?”

“Waltzing would prove to be difficult at this point… however, walking up to the front door will suffice.”

“Why?”

“I believe that was my question… to which you fully refused to answer… therefore requiring me to resort to my more assertive measures.”

“This is not assertive. This is asinine!” Beatrix glared then gasped as she had a brilliant idea. Without hesitation, she reached up and mussed his hair, causing the dark chocolate curls to go from tame to wild as they erratically stuck from his head.

“What—? Did you truly—?” He all but dropped her and ran his fingers through his hair.

Beatrix wasted no time and sprinted as fast as her slippered feet could carry her across the grass toward Breckridge House.

The sound of Lord Neville pursuing her was enough incentive to give one final burst of speed that would have surely gotten her to the safety of the servants’ entrance, if not for the root of a tree that seemed to spring out of the earth. One moment she was running, cursing her corset as she gasped for breath; the next moment she was flat on her back, unable to breathe at all. Hands at her throat, she tried to gasp, but no air entered her starving lungs.

“Damn it all,” Lord Neville swore then hauled her up and, with one hand, felt for the laces of her corset.

And the world faded to grey.

 

****

 

Neville ground out a low oath as he felt the hoyden in his arms go limp. To be honest, in his efforts to restrain her, he hadn’t acted in the most gentlemanly fashion, but that was the way it was with Miss Lamont. He lost his bloody mind around her; all rational thought evaporated like water on a hot stone. He felt for the offending corset then reached down and withdrew a knife from his boot. With one motion, he carefully slid the knife’s edge along the back of her gown, damning himself with each snap of the laces, till the garment hung loosely, exposing the creamy white skin at her back. Glancing away from the temptation, he laid her gently on her back, taking a deep breath when he noticed the soft rise and fall of her chest, signifying the life-giving intake of oxygen. It was hard enough to get the breath knocked out of oneself, let alone while wearing a corset.

Another reason to thank the good Lord he was a man.

Though he had to give her credit for the speed at which she ran; it was impressive to gain that kind of velocity in skirts.

He studied her face, tempted to count the smattering of freckles on her nose, the kind that simply highlighted the softness of her skin. They were a reflection of the caramel tones of her eyes; eyes that were just starting to flutter open. Long lashes blinked as her gaze grew in focus. Damn, but she was beautiful. It was no wonder he lost all reason around her. But it wasn’t her outer beauty that has so captivated him… it was her wit, her inability to take him seriously.

Ever since the incident with Mary — heavens above, how he wanted to forget it all — everyone in the ton had done one of two things: feared him or ignored him. Neither of which were boons as far he was concerned. But Miss Lamont, Beatrix, as he thought of her… When everyone else had given him a wide berth, she’d elbowed him in the ribs; when everyone else had deferred to him, she’d put him in his place. In the library at Greenford Waters, it had taken him all but a few seconds to know she was different, that she was, in a word, perfect — for him at least.

But, of course that hadn’t given him license to kiss her like he had, regardless of how much he’d wanted to continue kissing her… amongst other things. But that was before, when he’d assumed he’d have time to pay her court, to clear the mystery surrounding his name before approaching the duke with his suit for her hand. Then she had been taken, or so he’d thought, and all the other details had seemed trivial.

So here he stood — sat, rather — in the middle of the English countryside with Miss Beatrix flat on her back, gasping as she filled her lungs with air and completely unlaced… without one ounce of pleasure to be had by either of them! How was it possible? Irony at its best. He could do nothing but laugh as he considered the situation.

“Why, in heaven’s name, are you laughing?” she ground out between breaths. Her brown eyes were stormy and angry, yet all he felt was a deepening of his attraction, a delight at finding some new nuance about her.

“It is of no consequence,” he replied, choking back his mirth as he stood.

“I doubt that,” she said a bit easier since her breath was now less labored. She made a movement to sit up, her eyes widening like tea saucers as she reached back to feel her, well… back.

“You— How—? I cannot believe—“

“I assure you it was all in efforts to save your life, not ravish you… though I must say the idea does have some merit—“

Her growl cut off his words.

“If I could stand, I’d slap that grin right off your handsome face.

“Oh, so you think I’m handsome? I always fancied I was quite dashing in grey.”

“I loathe you.”

“Ah, I’m quite fond of you myself.” He shrugged. “But considering your current state of well… undress, I do think we ought find you a way to remain decent. Wouldn’t want to offend my tender gentlemanly sensibilities.”

“You are impossible.”

“Not entirely.”

“Yes, entirely, completely and unequivocally.” She lay back down and closed her eyes. “What exactly happened to me?”

He glanced up as a few servants exited the nearby door and gasped as they saw them then rushed back inside. By his estimation, he had about two minutes before Lady Southridge found them. Which would play into his plan quite nicely… better than his original plan in fact.

He took a seat beside Beatrix and patted her hand patronizingly, loving the leap of annoyance in her expression as he did so. “You were overwhelmed with my kissing prowess and fainted in my arms. But don’t worry…” He leaned in. “…your secret is safe with me.”

“Liar… I distinctly remember running from you.”

“Odd.” He shrugged.

“And tripping…”

“You are quite clumsy,” he added with a grin.

“Am not! Of all my sisters, I’m the most graceful,” she replied with a pout.

“Not high praise for your sisters, I’m afraid.” He tugged at his cravat. Surely, the neck cloth was beyond repair, so he tugged at the offense and removed it completely.

It would add to the story.

“Do not do that! You can’t just remove your neck cloth!” Beatrix scolded in a whisper as she glanced about from her position on her back. “No, no — this won’t do. I must— You must— Turn around!” she demanded as she sat up, holding the back of her dress together as she did so.

“Why can I not remove it? After all, I’m still far more presentable than you, my dear,” he shot back as he stood and reached out to help her stand. “Are you stable?” he asked gently as she placed all her weight on her feet.

“Yes, no thanks to you,” she spoke with derision.

“I do believe I saved your life. A little more gratitude would be appreciated.”

“For the last time, I was running from you! You are the reason I’m even in this state!” She took a tentative step and then hissed.

“You’re injured. Let me help.” He reached for her.

“No, you have helped quite enough,” she bit out and backed away, but her ankle must have been weakened from the fall, and she began to stumble.

Lord Neville reached out, grasped her waist, and pulled her in, supporting her. His gloved hands touched the soft skin of her exposed back. Bloody gloves, always in the way! Lilac and rose clung to her skin, and he inhaled deeply, committing the scent to memory. What had started in the library many months ago was about to be finished in only a few seconds, if he had any say in it.

 

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Greenford Waters Legacy

The Only Reason For the London Season

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Author Bio

authorpictureprof Kristin Vayden

Kristin’s inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook or some mess to clean but she loves every moment of it! She loves to make soap, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and gluten free muffins. Life is full of blessings and she praises God for the blessed and abundant life He’s given her.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Thrill Me

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.Thrill Me (Fool's Gold, #18)

Thrill Me by Susan Mallery

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis: Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could—she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool’s Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports.

Now ten years later, Maya’s been hired to promote her hometown’s new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot. Awkward!

Although Del’s not the type to hold a grudge, he’s determined to avoid falling a second time for the woman who broke his heart. He’s a daredevil, not an idiot. Trouble is, in all his adventures, he never found a rush as exhilarating as Maya’s kiss. Maybe risking his heart will prove to be the biggest thrill of all

Personal Thoughts: I love coming back to old favorites where the characters are intertwined from other books in the series. Susan Mallery knows how to write a laugh out loud good plot line and I can’t wait to read all about it in this new series installment within Fool’s Gold.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Light of Day Blitz

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Title: Light Of Day
Author: KM Thompson
Series: Daylight (Book 1)
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Light Of Day

Synopsis

For readers of E.L James, J Kenner and Kristin Mayer

When you run from your past it will always catch up with you.

Dana Spencer has fled London and started a new life in New York with her best friend James. They both have new jobs, a new apartment and new love interests, but what are they hiding?

Edward Day is Danas new boss and a man on a mission, he is determined to help her but with her locked up like fort knox, will he ever get her to drop her guard?

Dana’s secret life begins to unravel, when Edward reveals he knows more about her than he should.

Dana has no intention of opening up to the obsessed billionaire, he has to find a way of softening her up, but what is he hiding and how long will it be until his curious and stubborn employee finds out?

Where is Nathan?
Who is following her?
Why are they conspiring against her?
Who can she trust?

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Excerpt

Right now all I know is that I need to get out of here. I jump off the bed, grab my top and walk towards the lift that brought me up here. “Dana. Please wait, can we just talk about this?” I hear him moving after me and as his legs are twice the length of mine, he’s gaining on me, so I pick up the pace practically running now. “I think you misunderstood what I was saying.”

“No, I’m pretty sure I understood perfectly,” I shout behind me as I reach the lift and press the call button. Nothing happens.

“You need to put the lift key in before the call button works.” He looks at me with a knowing smile, I feel my anger rising.

“Could you please put the key in, so I can leave?”

He starts to shake his head and turns away calling over his shoulder to me, “Not until you talk to me.”

I’m shocked. “You can’t do this, you can’t keep me here because you’re not getting what you want.” There has to be a fire escape or something on a building like this.

“I can do what I like because I have the key. I’m the one with the power as you will soon find out.” The grin on his face becomes so boyish. He looks like the cat that got the cream.

“Look whatever it is you’re into, it doesn’t do it for me.” Trying to stay calm is becoming hard.

“Ah, but I think it does. You enjoyed being spanked, you became wet and hot. I felt it even through your panties. You need the pain but I can help you enjoy it.” The fact that he is managing to keep his composure during this means he is deadly serious.

“No wonder you didn’t look shocked when you walked into the black room. You were probably turned on. Is that what James was ruining? You getting your hands on me, he was doing what you wanted to be doing, wasn’t he?” I start to look around, there has to be an emergency exit somewhere.

“Actually I was both shocked and turned on. I was shocked as I said because I didn’t realise how serious your need for pain was. That you were physically marking and scaring your body…” His face looks angrier at this point. “But walking in and seeing you in such a submissive position, I just wanted to scoop you up and take you to bed.”

“You’re crazy, really, completely insane. So what did James ruin then? Come on spit it out.” I must be starting to look like a crazy person myself.

A hint of something crosses his eyes. “I can’t tell you, I’m sorry. Come, it’s time for bed.” That’s it—he just starts walking towards the long hallway that houses the bedrooms.

“Did you not hear me? I’m going home, can I have the key please?”

“You are not leaving at this time of night, I will show you to your room.” The calmness in him is becoming impatient.

“No, I’m going home now!”

“Dana! Follow me or I will drag you kicking and screaming to the room, before restraining you to the bed to make sure you stay there until morning.” The authority in his voice told me not to mess with him, but I’ve been bullied by one man before and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it happen again.

“No.” I dragged the word out sarcastically.

He starts towards me so I turn and make a run for it. Heading through the open plan lounge and kitchen, I make my way to the other side of the island in the middle of the kitchen. As we dance around it I can’t help but laugh, his face is so serious and frustrated.

“Don’t laugh at me Dana, I’m not in the mood.” This just makes me laugh more.

Mocking him, I say in a booming voice, “Me, big boss man. I say. You do.” I’m laughing so much I trip and he’s on me like a flash. Picking me up and hoisting me over his shoulder, he is soon carrying me through the apartment. “Put me down!” I’m screaming at him, kicking my legs, and pounding my fist on his back. Throwing me off him and onto a bed, he drags my arm above my head and attaches it to a handcuff already in place on the headboard.

What the hell! I start to pull my arm to test the strength of the cuff. “You can’t do this, it’s illegal.” He goes to leave. “What if I need the toilet?”

He turns and looks at me with a wicked grin. “Hold it! Soon you will realise it’s easier to do as I say instead of defying me at every turn. Tomorrow you will receive your punishment. Goodnight.” He starts to close the door.

“Are you not sleeping with me?” Confused and shocked at what is transpiring, that panic starts to rise.

“I don’t share my bed Dana.” With that he closes the door.

“Edward! Edward!” I’m shouting so loud I hear my voice become hoarse. “Please don’t leave me here.”

The door opens. “Shut up and go to sleep or I will gag you too. You’re going to need your energy in the morning.”

This time I decide not to call his bluff. “I haven’t agreed to your proposition yet.”

“But we both know you will. Tell me you’re not turned on right now. Tell me that your juices aren’t flowing at this situation you’ve found yourself in.” My body betrays me as my face becomes flushed. “I thought so.” He walks towards me and he undoes the cuff. “Get some sleep, I’ll see you for breakfast at eight.” He leaves the room, I hear him open another door and close it again. I wait to hear for anymore movement, there’s none.

Why am I not finding this more daunting or scary? You know why, I hear the voice in my head tell me. You are turned on and you’re curious.

I get off the bed and tip toe to the door, opening it and peering out to check if the coast is clear. Walking out into the hallway I make my way back to the living room where I dropped my handbag to retrieve my phone, but I can’t find it. I go to the kitchen and then retrace my steps to the bedroom. Realisation dawns on me, that’s what Edward went to get the first time he left the room when I was cuffed to the bed. I can’t believe this, he actually has me imprisoned here. As I continue snooping around I come across a set of large double doors, I go to open it but it’s locked. Moving along I come across a big heavy metal door tucked away, it must be the fire escape and I smile with relief. I consider opening it and running for my life, but would I really be running for my life? Do I even want to? As this thought enters my mind I’m aware that I trust Edward, he’s nothing like Grant and I am curious to partake in this way of life he is offering me. It doesn’t hurt to try it, does it? With my mind made up I make my way back to my room, and get out of my clothes. Settling into bed I wonder what tomorrow will bring, what sort of punishment I will receive. With a smile I drift off to sleep.

Daylight Series

Light Of Day

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Darkness In Day

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Enlightened By Day

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Waiting on Wednesday : Perfect Touch

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Synopsis: The queen of romantic suspense returns with a heart-racing tale in which a former soldier turned rancher and a beautiful designer race to stop a vicious killer—a battle for survival that threatens to explode in an intense and irresistible passion

An art dealer and owner of her own design studio, Perfect Touch, Sarah “Sam” Maddox travels the world to find the ideal artwork for her clients. Her sophisticated, comfortable life in San Francisco is light years away from the poverty of her family’s dairy farm, and Sam will do whatever it takes to keep her business strong. A dedicated urban career woman focused on her work, she doesn’t have time or energy for a family or distracting romantic entanglements.

Jay Vermillion recently inherited Vermillion Sky, a working ranch near Wyoming’s breathtaking Grand Teton Mountains—and the estates of the rich and restless. While he was fighting in two wars, his father tried to keep the homestead running, until illness stole his fight and then his life. Jay’s determined to restore Vermillion Sky, but first he’s got to settle a vicious battle with his former stepmother over some of his late father’s paintings. The last thing on his mind is a finding a wife and creating a sixth generation of Vermillions.

When Jay hires Sam to handle his father’s artwork, it’s love at first sight—a mutually inconvenient attraction that is soon complicated by a double murder at the edge of the ranch and a potential betrayal even closer to home. Working together to unmask a murderer, Sam and Jay try to fight the intense heat between them. Then the killer targets Sam. And suddenly, Jay, the war-weary soldier, finds something he’s once again willing to die for .

Elizabeth Lowell book’s are always a treat to read and I know this one will be no different! :) I can’t wait and luckily it is coming out next week. Sweet!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Fast Track Book Review

Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Publication Date: July 24 , 2014

Publisher: Dutton

Source: Library

Synopsis (Goodreads): A corrupt congressman, a mother’s secrets, and a sizzling romance ignite passion and suspense in the new novel from #1New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.

Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.

In Australia sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but multiple attempts on Aiden’s life are made while Cordelia is with him, and he realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

Personal Thoughts: Julie Garwood does a fabulous job once again with the newest book in the series. Cordelia’s life gets turned upside down when she finds out from her father (on his death bed) that her mother has been alive all this time and is not dead as previously mentioned. After receiving this shocking news, a chain reaction begins with her trying to change her life and become someone else. First step of business? Go and see her mother in Australia.

Second step of business? Get over her long time crush on Aiden(her best friends brother). However, as time passes by she realizes that it won’t be as easy as she thought it would be originally. It becomes even harder after a scorching kiss from Aiden and when he starts to notice her.

After visiting her mother and seeing just what kind of person she really is and the real reason Cordelia was told all her life that she doesn’t exist starts to make sense. It was just heartbreaking to read that a mother can do something like that to her child. :( I couldn’t stand her mother throughout the book. Things start to get even more interesting when she comes back from her trip with Aiden and attempts are being made on her life. Someone wants her out of the picture and it is easy to see who.

Aiden starts to take matters into his own hands to ensure that Cordie is safe and so that he can ensure that what they have together can be long lasting and that nothing happens to her. It gets challenging when she wants to move to Boston and get over him, however, he has a few tricks up his sleeve and tons of help from their friends.

Overall it was a great story line with lots of plot twists and turns. There were plenty of great characters and they were developed wonderfully. It feels like you really know them. The secondary characters (from previous books in the series) also contributed to the story line and make it even more enjoyable.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

 

 

Protector Blitz

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Title: Protector (The Brannock Siblings #4)
Author: Jessica Wilde
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Release Blitz: July 20, 21, 22

Hosted by: Always Behind A Book

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Synopsis

Isabelle Brannock was adored by her children in every possible way. Her ability to love reflects in each of them and to this day, they remember the never ending happiness she and their father, Liam, shared. However, life wasn’t always beautiful and their magnificent mother kept her dark secrets buried away so her children would always remember that family is the most important thing.

Liam Brannock has watched his children find that same happiness he knew so well and, as a father, he couldn’t be prouder. Knowing that the struggles each of them endured were worth the sacrifices they made to find the love of their lives, he finally feels content with revealing the secrets Isabelle worked so hard to keep.

Liam tells his children the story of how he met their mother and the secrets they never suspected would be possible for a woman who lived each day showing her children that love conquers all.

For readers 18+ due to sexual content.

Note to readers:

This is Liam and Isabelle’s story as well as updates on Ash, Con, and Gus.

This cannot be read as a standalone.

Series Order:

Book 1 – Leverage (SALE FREE)

Book 2 – Conned (SALE 99¢)

Book 3 – Missing (SALE 99¢)

Book 4 – Protector

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Excerpt

He walked out the door, glancing back at his aunts once more. Both of them were smiling his way, waving and watching him like a bunch of hawks. He started toward the gardens feeling Maggie’s eyes on his back until he was out of her view.

It wasn’t long before he came upon the grove, but his quest was soon forgotten.

For the second time in his life, he was brought to a standstill by the beauty in front of him. He caught sight of that long brown hair flowing over a creamy shoulder… that was shaking.

The air in Liam’s lungs caught and he felt that tightness in his chest from before, when he heard a sniffle and saw the woman wipe under her eyes.

She was crying. This stunning, flawless woman was sobbing and he felt that tightness twist and pull until he couldn’t just stand and watch any longer. Liam looked around to see who had hurt her, but no one else was in the grove. He was angry for her and heartbroken that a woman like her would ever have a reason to cry like that.

She was so wrapped up in her world that she never even heard him step into the grove. His footsteps on the grass were silent, but surely she would have heard him crashing through the trees. He watched her a moment longer, debating on whether to sneak away and leave her in peace or find out what was making her so sad and fix it for her.

His mouth decided for him.

“Tears don’t belong on a face so beautiful.”

She startled and immediately stood and backed away from him. Smart woman, but it was still frustrating to see that it was out of wisdom, not instinct. She regarded him warily before looking around to find that they were completely alone. The trees surrounding the grove were covering them from anyone who might be watching.

Liam normally wouldn’t allow this type of situation to occur. He would have left her alone and gone to fetch Maggie to help. But this wasn’t a normal situation and Liam couldn’t help but feel drawn to the woman standing before him, looking like she was about to run.

“You don’t need to be afraid of me, bird. I’ll not harm you.”

Her shoulders sagged for a moment of brief relief before she lifted them straight and jutted out her chin. Her show of strength was impressive, but Liam could see the unease in her eyes so he stayed where he was and let her have her space.

She cleared her throat and crossed her arms over her chest. “I am sorry if I am trespassing. Maggie told me to come here and it was just a beautiful place to sit and think.”

Her voice sent a jolt of electricity straight into his gut. A husky sound that vibrated all the way down his spine and he couldn’t stop himself from studying her lips as she spoke.

Good Lord, help me.

She quickly wiped the tears from her face and sniffed a few times before gaining her composure and lifting her chin once more. Liam had been right the day before, she was stunning up close. Tear stains on her cheeks, eyes red rimmed, nose red, lips red. If she was this beautiful crying, he was doomed when she was smiling.

The very idea of her was… impossible.

Her yellow dress didn’t cling to the curves he knew would be there, but it gave a hint of a graceful womanly figure and the exposed skin of her chest beckoned his eyes. His lips thinned, cursing himself for being disrespectful and he looked down at her legs.

That didn’t help at all.

Eyes, Liam. Look at her eyes.

After clearing his throat, he said, “You are not trespassing. It is a garden for the public, but no one comes in anymore.”

“Well, that’s a shame. It’s breath taking,” she said and dropped down to the small bench to sit once more.

Apparently she decided that he was harmless and he sighed with relief. Liam kept his distance, hoping he wouldn’t startle her anymore than he already did. She turned her head to look at him with a sad grin.

“This is a nice place to sit and think. Feels secluded even though it isn’t.”

That voice. Raspy yet feminine. It sent another shock to his veins and his blood pumped harder. If she kept speaking, he would pass out from his suddenly improved circulation.

Liam stepped closer and caught a glimpse of the freckles running across her nose. A ray of sunshine crossed over her face as she found a comfortable position on the bench. She was not only breath taking, but she glowed with an aura that he had never seen before. She was sad, of that he had no doubt, but her presence exuded happiness. Like being this close to her could make everything in the world right again.

I should send her up north and see if that solves all these troubles, Liam thought to himself.

Those freckles. He needed to get closer and get a better look at them.

“Do you mind?” he asked, gesturing to the small spot of bench beside her.

Her eyes narrowed, red rimmed and only slightly puffy.

It felt like hours instead of seconds before she sniffled and nodded her head, a shy grin pulling at her lips. “Please. There isn’t anywhere else to sit unless you favor the grass.”

“Aye, I do, but I favor a beautiful woman more,” he replied.

Her blush was devastating and it spread across her cheeks like the red of a summer sunset. Poetic, Liam. Very poetic.

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Giveaway

GRAND PRIZE: Entire Brannock Siblings Series signed paperback set! AND (2) Signed Paperbacks of Protector

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series

Leverage (The Brannock Siblings) Book 1

Currently FREE for a Limited Time

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Conned (The Brannock Siblings) Book 2

Currently on SALE for 99¢

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Missing (The Brannock Siblings) Book 3

Currently on SALE for 99¢

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Author Bio

I live in Morgan Utah with my husband, daughter, and dog, Kolo. I write as often as my active daughter will let me and my husband has the patience of a saint. I find inspiration from dreams, people I meet, and life experiences. When I write, I usually end up drinking one too many cans of Peace Tea, eating three too many Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks, and accidently kicking my pup and best buddy, Kolo, too many times since he loves to sleep under my desk at my feet.

I started writing as a teen, but my fear of the unknown won out every time and I threw everything out. After becoming a mother and deciding to stay at home to raise my beautiful little girl, I tried again when I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I loved every minute, every hour of sleep lost, and every character that came to life in my mind.

It’s strange, but my favorite moments are when I have writer’s block because I can turn to my husband and find inspiration through him by just doing what we do best together. Talking, laughing, and just being in love. He doesn’t like to read, but he never stops encouraging me to keep going.

Writing has become an important part of my life and every book has a special place in my heart.

Jessica Wilde

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