<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
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Showing posts tagged: First Looks click to see more stuff tagged with First Looks
Fri
Nov 17 2017 9:30am

First Look: Loretta Chase’s A Duke in Shining Armor (November 28, 2017)

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase,

Loretta Chase
A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes #1)
Avon / November 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

The fabulous Loretta Chase begins a new series about three ducal friends, known collectively to the ton as “Their Dis-Graces” with A Duke in Shining Armor. One Dis-Grace is the Duke of Ashmont who is all set to marry Lady Olympia Hightower. However, that lady is having major second thoughts and, slightly inebriated, is caught climbing out of the window by Ashmont’s best friend, the equally dis-graceful Hugh, Duke of Ripley. Ripley follows the tipsy Olympia to keep her out of harm and to talk her into returning. She is dubious about his good intentions.

“Didn’t you tell me you were a damsel in distress?” he said. “I’m your knight in shining armor.”

Her eyebrows went up.

“It makes for a change,” he said.

“I should not call it a change,” she said. “In your case I should call it. . .” Her eyebrows settled again and a glint of humor lit her eyes. “An apocalypse.”

Being a Knight in Shining Armor is a novel experience for Ripley and, while occasionally exasperating, he begins to enjoy their adventures while on the run from the wedding. However, being in close proximity to Olympia reminds Ripley of how much he’d always admired her.

[Read more...]

Thu
Nov 16 2017 9:30am

First Look: Rachel Grant’s Catalyst (November 21, 2017)

Catalyst by Rachel Grant

Rachel Grant
Catalyst (Flashpoint #2)
Rachel Grant / November 21, 2017 / $5.99 digital

We’re back at Camp Citron in Djibouti with Rachel Grant’s latest installment of the Flashpoint series, Catalyst. Another hot setting, another hot story! Who knew archaeologists had such badass, exciting lives?

Knowing that Grant, herself, is a scientist explains so much about her characters and their adventures. It also explains a lot about her latest suspense. Scientifically speaking, catalysts are substances that cause or accelerate a chemical reaction without being affected itself. Catalysts are also things that cause activity between two or more people without being affected, or people who precipitate an event or change. In Catalyst, we meet American aid worker, Brie Stewart, whose colorful past and the life she’s now making for herself are the catalyst for a grand adventure.

“Friends call me Brie. You may call me Ms. Stewart.”

“Stewart? Not Prime?”

She shrugged. “I legally changed my last name to my mother’s maiden name.”

“Like Prime Petroleum changed to Prime Energy a dozen years ago? Obvious and unconvincing greenwashing.”

“I wasn’t greenwashing, I simply no longer wished to be associated with Prime Energy, and the decision to change my last name sent a clear message to Jeffrey Senior.”

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 15 2017 1:30pm

The Return to Mystral in C.L. Wilson’s The Sea King

 The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

The Sea King is the latest in C. L. Wilson’s romantic fantasy series the Weather Mages of Mystral.  In book one, The Winter King, Khamsin Coruscate, princess of Summerlea married King Wynter Atrialan to settle a long, hard war. The match and the resultant victory brought about by their combined magical powers not only brings peace to their land but a wonderous loving partnership to the royal couple. Now the time has come to repay their allies. As part of a bargain for the help received from the seafaring Calberna, the men of that land will be allowed to court wives from their kingdom.  More importantly, Dilys Merimydion, only son of the Myerial – ruling queen of Calberna – will be allowed to court Khamsin’s sisters, the Seasons of Summerlea and take one to wife. The Seasons, princesses with weather magic that match the season they are called for, are all beautiful and powerful. Well, mostly. Sweet Summer - Gabriella Coruscate– is, like her season: kind, gentle, generous and warm. She is not the powerful kind of mage Dilys will need by his side to defeat his own foe, the dreaded pirate known as the Shark. He leaves Calberna with strict orders to marry one of the other Seasons.

[Read more...]

Mon
Nov 13 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Twisted Truths (November 14, 2017)

Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti,

Rebecca Zanetti
Twisted Truths (Blood Brothers #3)
Forever / November 14, 2017 / $14.99 print, $5.99 digital

Despite the advances science has given the world of reproduction, it’s still considered questionable by some folks. Imagine what they’d say to crazy-assed Dr. Madison if they found out she’d enhanced the in vitro fertilization process to make humans with extra abilities. We’re not talking X-Men enhanced—in Rebecca Zanetti’s world, the extra-abled humans are soldiers and survivors and honorable men … and boy are they oh, so compelling. The final installment of her Blood Brothers trilogy concludes with Twisted Truths and delivers a very positive result.

“You gonna study me?” he asked quietly.

Her mouth lost its firm line and she looked softer. She turned the car down a long dirt road toward a big white building. “Yes, I am. You, Ryker and Heath are special.” Suddenly she reached over and grabbed his hand, enclosing it with her soft skin. “You are the most special of all, Denver. Someday I’ll tell you why.”

[Read more...]

Sat
Nov 11 2017 10:00am

First Look: Denise Grover Swank’s Always You (November 28, 2017)

Always You by Denise Grover Swank

Denise Grover Swank
Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3)
Forever / November 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $3.99 digital

The one-that-got-away trope can be difficult to embrace. If a couple is so right for each other, why did they break up in the first place? If the reasons were legitimate at the time, are they sufficiently and believably resolved? Always You tackles these issues head-on.

Matt Osborne stayed in Kansas City after he graduated from college. He’s made a good life for himself—the only thing missing is a life partner. He even has a family, sort of—he’s his nephew Ethan’s guardian while Ethan’s mother attends medical school on the West Coast. Ethan’s the reason that he volunteered to coach soccer. It seems that more than five-year-old soccer players think Matt’s a terrific guy.

Standing at the edge of a grass soccer field, Matt stared into the sea of parents’ faces and resisted the urge to groan. Obviously, word had spread after last season that Coach Matt was relatively good looking, somewhat successful, loved kids, and most important, was single.

[Read more...]

Fri
Nov 10 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Lecia Cornwall’s Enchanted by the Highlander (November 14, 2017)

Enchanted by the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

Lecia Cornwall
Enchanted by the Highlander (Highland Fairy Tale #4)
Swerve / November 14, 2017 / $3.99 digital

Lecia Cornwall’s latest in her Highland Fairytale series, Enchanted by the Highlander, is exactly that: Enchanting. The story flows, and the romance buds until the leads have their HEA. I found chills erupting all over my skin several times and it involved moments where the Hero, John Erly, and the Heroine, Gillian MacLeod didn’t even kiss. You see, Gillian MacLeod is the shy MacLeod. The one whom all her sisters’ feel they must talk for and protect. But beneath her shy façade is a woman capable of protecting herself, a woman who knows her mind, and until recently felt silenced.

Everything changes when she falls for John Erly, the Sassenach. Her father, the fearless Laird MacLeod of Glen Iolair, would never allow his daughter to marry an Englishman. Yet, that is who owns her heart. Though not because John pursues the lass. Rather, he tries in vain to avoid her, because he knows he’s not worthy of her love.

[Read more...]

Thu
Nov 9 2017 1:30pm

First Look: May McGoldrick’s Romancing the Scot (November 14, 2017)

Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

May McGoldrick
Romancing the Scot (Pennington Family #1)
Swerve / November 14, 2017 / $3.99 digital

In Romancing the Scot, May McGoldrick begins a new series on the next generation of Penningtons. We start with Hugh Pennington, Viscount Greysteil. Hugh is an avid balloonist who finds a surprise in the new basket which has just arrived from Antwerp: A nearly dead woman. Grace Ware was running from the villains who killed her father when she hid in the crate, only to find herself nailed in and in a ship’s hold for a five day trip to Scotland. It was touch-and-go, but Hugh and his sister Jo save Grace’s life and she slowly recovers from her ordeal. While healing, she learns that she and Hugh were on opposite sides of the late war in France.

Grace accompanied her father to war, an Irish Colonel who fought with the French against the English. Hugh lead a Scots brigade and was a hero of the Napoleonic wars. He is now Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts in the Borders. As they get to know each other and Grace learns of Hugh’s history, she realizes that they were all too often at the same place.

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Alisha Rai’s Wrong to Need You (November 28, 2017)

Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai
Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts #2)
Avon / November 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

 If someone asked me to describe Alisha Rai’s books, I’d say that she excels at writing three things in particular: heroines, family, and sexual tension. Her latest book, Wrong to Need You, is a great example of Rai’s strengths. The Forbidden Hearts series is full of secrets, intense emotions, and forbidden love, and features men and women who are, despite their circumstances, genuinely good people.

Sadia Ahmed is the sister-in-law of the heroine of Hate to Want You, but she’s so much more. Sadia is a single mom to six-year-old Kareem, middle of five Pakistani-American sisters, owner/manager of the Kane family cafe, bartender at O’Killian’s, and a conflicted widow. As we learn early in the book, Sadia and her late husband, Paul, were about to divorce when he died, but because she’s afraid of being seen as a failure, Sadia hasn’t told anyone. She also sort of hates running the cafe but, again, doesn’t want to sell it and be seen as a failure. Alisha Rai reliably delivers heroines who have complex inner lives and motivations, and Sadia is no exception.

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 8 2017 9:30am

First Look: C.D. Reiss’s Bodyguard (November 14, 2017)

Bodyguard by CD Reiss

CD Reiss
Bodyguard (Hollywood A-List #2)
Montlake / November 14, 2017 / $12.95 print, $3.99 digital

“My name is Mandy, and I’m addicted to bodyguard romances.”  “Hiiiiii Mandy.”

Addicted? YES. Bodyguard romances are totally reader catnip for me.  I have Tara Wyatt and her absolutely fantastic Bodyguard series to blame because after reading that series, I always kept an eye out for the bodyguard/protection storyline.  Lo and behold, who hooks me with that storyline? The glorious and uber talented, CD Reiss. After reading and thoroughly enjoying Bombshell, the first book in the Hollywood A-List series, I knew I’d be reading whatever Ms. Reiss was writing next.  Luckily for me, it was a bodyguard romance! I was jumping for joy because I knew, I just knew it would be excellent. And it was.

Emily is a talented choreographer for her best friend and superstar singer, Darlene McKenna. She and Darlene left their hometown together as dancers and set off to Hollywood in search of fame and stardom. Darlene finds the fame and stardom, but Emily’s path is redirected to choreography, due to a jerk of an ex-boyfriend.  Vince, the ex, has been stalking her since they broke up. Our sweet, smart and talented Emily is a beautiful bird living in a cage.

[Read more...]

Tue
Nov 7 2017 3:30pm

First Look: Mary Balogh’s Someone to Wed (November 7, 2017)

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh
Someone to Wed (A Westcott Novel #3)
Berkley / November 7, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an impoverished nobleman puts his head, and his title, on the marriage block, in a quest for the highest bidder. This trope has been mined by Mary Balogh in many wonderful stories (A Christmas Promise comes to mind) but the one that pops up immediately is Dancing with Clara. There are important differences, however. Clara’s husband, the Honourable Frederick Sullivan, is, like Alexander Westcott, the Earl of Riverdale, “magnificently handsome” but Freddy “was a rake whose women were legion and whose gambling debts were staggering.” Vastly wealthy Wren Heyden wants someone to wed and her choice is her neighbor, the new Earl of Riverdale.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life.

Unlike Freddy, and like the Earl of Falloden, the hero of A Christmas Promise, Alexander is impoverished through an accident of inheritance. Alexander is not a gambler nor a womanizer. Wren, like Clara Sullivan née Dunford, controls her own fortune and negotiates directly with the man she wants to marry.

[Read more...]

Tue
Nov 7 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Lauren Layne’s An Ex for Christmas (November 7, 2017)

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly #5)
Loveswept / November 7, 2017 / $4.99 digital

I loved An Ex for Christmas—it was exactly the pick-me-up read I needed. Not only is it a fantastic feel-good romance, it’s perfect for the holidays, and the full romance package. I teared up, laughed out loud, and rolled around in happiness from the utter omgsocutefunhotperfect-ness of it all.

Even if you don’t read the blurb you know Mark is the hero from the start. I mean, how our heroine Kelly waxes poetic about him, how he’s pretty much perfect, and they already share custody of a dog. I mean really. Then there are the more obvious signs out how he always lets her have her way, he’s there for her, he does not want to hear about her love-quest... and yeah you might think this all sounds ridiculous, but NOPE. Lauren Layne makes it work.

[Read more...]

Tue
Nov 7 2017 8:30am

First Look: Helena Hunting’s Hooking Up (November 7, 2017)

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Helena Hunting
Hooking Up 
Swerve / November 7, 2017 / $15.99 print, $3.99 digital

When Amalie Whitfield’s husband humiliates her on their wedding day, she grabs her suitcases and heads out on her honeymoon. Solo. Or so she thought. What are the chances that the bad boy she walked away from in the past is also heading to the same location?  And this time...he’s not letting her walk away without a fight.

Our story opens to Amalie at her wedding reception, wondering where her groom has disappeared to. She soon discovers his whereabouts when the room’s PA system suddenly turns on and everyone hears her husband having sexual relations with someone besides her.

Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding.

Disgusted, humiliated, and angry, Amalie heads to the bridal suite to hide and plot her husband’s slow painful death only to discover the groom’s cousin, Lexington, has been hiding out there to escape his date. Her pride stinging, she propositions him only to have him turn her down. Two rejections in one-day smarts so Amalie runs to her best friend and makes plans to annul her marriage while escaping to a small resort for some much needed R&R.

[Read more...]

Mon
Nov 6 2017 8:30am

First Look: Lora Leigh’s Nauti Angel (November 7, 2017)

Nauti Angel by Lora Leigh

Lora Leigh
Nauti Angel (Nauti #9; Nauti Girls #5)
Berkley / November 7, 2017 / $16.00 print, $9.99 digital

Nauti Angel takes readers back to the town of Somerset, Kentucky. A beautiful hideaway nestled in natural wonders for the avid outdoors person to enjoy nature’s finest. It also happens to be populated with many highly trained fighters and military personnel.  I am a fan of the Nauti series as it is full of action-packed romances starring alpha males and the kick-butt women who love and tame them.

This latest installment in the Nauti series features one of its most composed heroes and his love for a woman who possibly is more of an alpha than he is, though Duke is still a Mackay through and through. The woman who has his heart is a warrior named Angel Calloway. A deft, no-nonsense woman, Angel faces life head-on. In fact, she’ll race those around her to be in the front line to fight a battle.

“…you don’t understand, that woman is a powder keg waiting to explode over any man working with her, besides Tracker and Chance. She doesn’t take orders worth sh*t, goes her own way, and nine times out of ten ends up with a bullet buried in her somewhere that’s all but guaranteed to kill her. “

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 1 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff’s Pawn (November 3, 2017)

Pawn by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Pawn (Mr. Rook's Island #2)
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff / November 3, 2017 / $11.99 print, $3.99 digital

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff’s Pawn has it all. There’s something for every lover of romance's sub-genres in this book: Paranormal, contemporary, and historical, virgin-trope, murder-mystery, and semi-erotic themes. For those fans who love a western romance, don’t fret, there’s mention of a cowboy fantasy at Rook’s Island, where women can have any and all fantasies, mind no one gets truly hurt.

Yes, I can’t say enough about Ms. Pamfiloff’s second book in her Rook Island trilogy. The pacing is quick and the story sucked me in until I was vigorously turning the pages. The mystery of Rook and his island unfolds effortlessly and once his “secret” was revealed, I thought, aha, I know how this ends, until Mimi Jean Pamfiloff leaves us with a twist at the very end. Thus, we must wait until the final book in the trilogy is released to find out how our Mr. Rook and Stephanie get an HEA.

[Read more...]

Tue
Oct 31 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Darynda Jones’s The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (October 31, 2017)

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson Series #12)
St. Martin's Press / October 31, 2017 / $26.99 print, $12.99 digital

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave is the second to last book in Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series and our favorite Grim Reaper is back at it again. Charley is sticking her nose into trouble and fighting evil…even if the evil happens to be her husband Reyes.

“It’s weird how you can be in love with someone one day, and hunting them the next.” – Charley Davidson

Long story short, Reyes has turned a bit (okay a lot) eviler since his return from the hell dimension he was supposed to only visit. On top of that, another friend is in a bind when someone from her recent past turns up dead. And as usual, we have one of Charley’s friends making more work for her but this time it’s the kids. What’s a Grim Reaper to do?

[Read more...]

Mon
Oct 30 2017 8:30am

First Look: Olivia Drake’s The Scandalous Flirt (October 31, 2017)

The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia DrakeOlivia Drake 
The Scandalous Flirt
(Cinderella Sisterhood)
St. Martin’s Press / October, 31 2017 / $7.99 print, $7.99 digital

I’ve always prefered my romance novels with a side of social commentary. To those unfamiliar with the genre, romance may seem like an unexpected platform for social discourse. But those of us who cut our reading eyeteeth on the genre know that in fact the opposite is true. In the last year alone we’ve seen authors, both independent of and through their novels, take a stand against the increasing bleakness of the world around us.

The story which Olivia Drake presents to readers in The Scandalous Flirt - her newest fairy tale retelling in the Cinderella Sisterhood series, this time of Sleeping Beauty - is unfortunately an all too familiar one. The heroine, Aurora “Rory” Paxton, has been banished from society for becoming entangled in a love affair, however unconsummated. And though we are told that the lover involved was ousted from England entirely and sent home to his country, still it seems unjustly imbalanced. He was sent home, but Aurora was sent away from home, and everything she was and had ever known.

[Read more...]

Sun
Oct 29 2017 9:00am

First Look: Paula Quinn The Scot’s Bride (October 31, 2017)

The Scots Bride by Paula Quinn

Paula Quinn
The Scot’s Bride (Highland Heirs)
Forever / October 31, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Highlander Patrick MacGregor is a happy man. He has a large and loving family, but he chooses to travel, earning his living by challenging locals to a fight, bedding a local lass and then moving on. No ties, no responsibilities, he’s living the perfect life. His muscles, his cleverness and his charm get him all he needs. He didn’t want to live a life dictated by commitments and duty to anyone.

He didn’t want to fall in love. He’d grown up hearing extraordinary tales of it, of seeing the effects of it in his kin’s lives. It wasn’t because he didn’t believe in its power. It was because he did.

If he were to fall in love, he’d have to be prepared to give up not only his heart, but his soul as well. He had no interest in that kind of life. He was young and virile and he was enjoying it.

And then he meets Charlotte Cunningham while traveling through a small village on his way to visit relations. Having grown up with a selfish, mean-spirited father and brothers, she has no illusions where men are concerned. She has Patrick’s number and is not about to be his latest conquest.

[Read more...]

Fri
Oct 27 2017 8:30am

First Look: Joanna Shupe’s A Daring Arrangement (October 31, 2017)

A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe
A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred Series #1)
Avon / October 31, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

Joanna Shupe kicks off a new Gilded Age series with A Daring Arrangement, a fake engagement tale with a bit of mystery and a whole bunch of steam. If you’ve enjoyed reading the American-in-England trope, this is a delightful reversal. Moreover, since the book is set about 100 years after the Regency, women are allowed a bit more freedom, something I welcomed wholeheartedly.

Nora is shipped off to New York by her father after he discovers her in a scandalous relationship with an artist, Robert. Determined to return to Robert, Nora sets out to court the most inappropriate man in New York, a plan she hopes will have her father bringing her back to London. When we meet Julius, he is hosting a drunken birthday party, indoors, on horseback. Surely this man is perfect for the position?

This is a romance novel, though, so you can probably guess what’s going to happen. Julius isn’t quite the cad he’s made out to be. Turns out he’s highly intelligent, with a squishy marshmallow center that he hides behind the opulence and frivolity of the super-rich in Gilded Age New York. And he’s, of course, quite good with his hands.

[Read more...]

Thu
Oct 26 2017 8:30am

First Look: Christmas in Kilts Anthology (October 31, 2017)

Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, and May McGoldrick

Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick
Christmas in Kilts
St. Martin's Swerve / October 31, 2017 / $4.99 digital

Five authors bring Christmas in Scotland to life in Christmas in Kilts.

First up is Terri Brisbin, with A Highlander’s Hope. It features an unlikely love between a man in a position of authority in his clan and the village whore. Iain MacKillop is a mature man whose wife died years ago and who has patronized a neighboring village’s whore. His family has been encouraging him to remarry and he has decided to do so, but worries about how his laird will react to his choice of wife.

None of those previous plans mattered now, for over the last few days he’d finally decided that he wanted her, and not as his whore. Not even as his leman. As his . . . wife.

Oh, he was not ignoring the challenges to getting what – who – he wanted, for Iain did not delude himself into thinking this would be an easy matter to resolve. Many people would have their say, whether invited to or not, and many of his kith and kin would object and place obstacles in his path.

The greatest obstacle is Robena herself. For, though she loves Iain, she can’t see herself as anything other than a whore, and therefore, not fit to be a wife.

[Read more...]

Fri
Oct 20 2017 8:30am

First Look: Sarina Bowen’s Bountiful (October 20, 2017)

Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen
Bountiful (True North #4)
Sarina Bowen / October 20, 2017 / $3.99 digital

A mystery subplot running throughout the True North series has been, “Phew, Griff isn't the father of Zara's baby... so who is?” It turns out that fourth book in the “True North” series is also an unofficial entry in the Sarina Bowen's Brooklyn Bruisers series—there's no actual hockey, but Leo and Castro are around to crack wise and help support their buddy Dave, who'd planned to re-hook up with the gorgeous Vermont bartender he once had a fling with but is instead faced with 15-month-old Nicole.

Dave Beringer hasn't figured largely in previous Bruisers books, although we'd been told that he had an injury that kept him off the rink for a long time. Here we discover he's also another kind of  player, not above using whatever gets him what he wants:

“When the right moment came, I'd turn on the charm. I was willing to play the professional athlete card, too. Although something told me that swagger wouldn't be the right play for Zara. She might be too forthright to care that I got paid millions to fly around the rink a hundred nights a year.”

[Read more...]