WTF Are You Reading?

Let The Sons Of Odin Take "Possession" Of Your Heart

Title:  Possession
(The Sons Of Odin #2)
Author:  Violetta Rand
Format:  eARC
Length:  TBD
Date Of Publication:  April 12, 2016
Publisher:  Random House/Loveswept
Rating:  5 Stars

The Sons of Odin motorcycle club is back! Violetta Rand follows up Persuasion (“A seriously sexy thrill ride!”—Stacey Kennedy) with a sizzling short novel that takes passion to the brink of chaos . . . and beyond. 


Ambitious young attorney Tina Bethel doesn’t have time for commitment, but she wouldn’t pass up some hot, no-strings sex with the right guy—like Sons of Odin officer Vincent Ramos. Six feet, five inches of solid muscle and biker masculinity, he revs Tina up like no man ever has. The trouble is, every time they get physical, Tina’s cravings are never quenched—because Vincent always pumps the brakes before the point of no return.

With her sexy body packaged in a short skirt, Tina’s enough to drive any man crazy. Vincent isn’t sure how he’s resisted her shameless come-ons. He just knows that if he gives in, he won’t be able to stop—and after two failed marriages, he can’t afford any more broken promises. But when a disgruntled client of Tina’s starts stalking her, Vincent has to make up his mind about his true feelings—fast. Because if he’s willing to put his body in the line of fire, he should be able to risk his heart in the name of love.

My Thoughts
Authoress Violetta Rand just keeps the romantic hits coming with Possession.  The sizzling second offering in the Sons of Odin series.
This time around we are introduced to up and coming defense attorney, Valentina Bethel, and Sons Of Odin Treasurer, Vincent Ramos.

To say that these two are attracted to each other is without a doubt, the biggest understatement of the year.  But succumbing to the pull of passion can be more than a little difficult when anything more than a kiss sends Vincent running for the hills.

But when a client begins to stalk Valentina, forcing her to head for Vincent and all the...ahem...safety...that only he can offer.

Can Valentina make a case strong enough to sway Vincent's gun shy heart?
Or will her motion for discovery of Vincent's briefs be denied?

This is a book that draws the reader in with the promise of what could be.
By taking the time to establish the validity of Vincent and Valentina's attraction to each other before we are formally introduced to the characters themselves. Authoress Rand gives her audience a readymade stake in the success or failure of the unfolding relationship.

The fact that Vincent proves to be not only a knight on shining motorcycle to Valentina's 21st century damsel, but a gentleman to  fault!
What?
Vincent makes one's heart melt.  He is never one to try to tame or conquer Valentina.  Choosing instead to support and protect her quietly.

For her part, Valentina uses her go getter drive to  do just that.
Showing her heartbroken hero just how worthy he is of the love that she is so willing to give.

Wait!  Hold the phone!
Did you think this book was all about the romance?
Not by a long shot.
There is also a good old fashioned beat down going on when a fellow Son Of Odin goes rogue to rescue a lady from the clutches of an abusive rival club member.
And...
Wait for it...
The oh is fabulous way that Vincent deals with Valentina's stalker.

V+V=Very good reading!

Reviewer Note:  This is the second offering in a companion series.  These novels may be read both individually, or as part of their intended collection.

*I was provided with a copy of the above referenced work by Loveswpt in association with Netgalley.  All opinions expressed therein are original and my own.*

About Violetta
Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Violetta Rand spent her childhood reading, writing, and playing soccer. After meeting her husband in New England, they moved to Alaska where she studied environmental science and policy as an undergraduate before attending graduate school. Violetta then spent nearly a decade working as an environmental scientist, specializing in soil and water contamination and environmental assessments. 

Violetta still lives in Anchorage, Alaska and spends her days writing evocative New Adult romance and historical romance. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys time with her husband, pets, and friends. In her free time, she loves to hike, fish, and ride motorcycles and 4-wheelers. 
Find Her: Web / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Greta And The Lost Army + Giveaway


Greta and the Lost Army (Mylena Chronicles #3) by Chloe Jacobs
Published on February 1st, 2016
Published by Entangled Teen
Genre: YA paranormal/Fantasy


After spending the last four years trapped in a place of monsters, demons, and magick, the last thing the fierce teenage bounty hunter Greta expected was to ever be back on Earth. But a rare opportunity gives her and the Goblin King Isaac the opportunity to do just that. Now she’s home. With a boy in tow. And her parents have lots of questions.
Although Greta finally has her heart’s deepest wish—to see her family again—every step she takes to reconnect with them drives her further away from Isaac. Greta and Isaac planned for her to return to Mylena and become his queen, but she’s not sure if she can go back to that harsh world, though staying on Earth means giving up the boy she loves.
But a powerful enemy refuses to let Greta escape. A demon who will stop at nothing to destroy her and everything she loves. Even if it means following her to Earth and forcing her to face a fate as unavoidable as love itself.

Buy The Book


My Thoughts
Greta And The Lost Army should be retitled All The Reasons That Earth Sucks Compared To Myleana.  
The reason
The first 50% (kindle approximation) of this book is spent doing just that.  As Greta and the gang find themselves on the Earth side of yet another portal.
Hearts will break as the pungest of the human Lost Boys are unceremoniously torn from their tribe and reunited with their families.
The more of this that Greta is forced to endure, the more that Greta knows that life on Myleana is her only option.

This is also where things between Isaac and Greta become, shall we say, irreversible.
And the search for the return portal begins.
Thankfully!

Things in Myleana are worse than ever, complete with demon possessed fae and a gnome king bent on destruction.

The action and cohesion of the last half of this tale, more than makes up for the slow emotionality of the first half.
Seeing Issac and Greta gather their troops while reigning together as a true king and queen.
Awesome!

This is a great end to an excellent series!



All About Chloe
Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she’d at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers. 

 Author Website: www.chloejacobs.comcom
 Author Twitter: @Jacobs_Chloe 


   Read below for an excerpt from Greta and the Lost Army:
The streetlamps cast soft cones of light on the sidewalks all the way through the neighborhood. Greta pointed things out as she remembered them. “That’s where my friend Danielle used to live. I guess she probably still lives there.” “Are you looking forward to seeing her again?” She nodded. “And if I remember correctly, she’s more hyper than a Mylean berserker—only less ripping and tearing, and more frenzied hugging and constant talking.” The rumble of his amused chuckle made her grin. He squeezed her hand. She looked up at him, and it hit her. “You know, this is kind of like a date,” she said, tingles of awareness dancing up her spine. His smile was crooked, and his eyes warm as he laid his arm across her shoulders, making her feel like he would rather be here with her right now than anywhere else. It probably wasn’t true. They were both too worried about Mylena for it to ever leave their minds completely, but maybe one day it would be true. “What would be the purpose of a date?” There was such a thing as courtship in Mylena, but she and Isaac had pretty much bypassed anything resembling normal…in both worlds. What if she was wrong and the portal didn’t open again? What if they stayed here? There could be more nights just like this, and eventually maybe they would get a place of their own and… “You know, so a couple can get to know one another and decide if they like each other.” “But we already know we like each other.” When they were alone like this and his voice softened because he trusted her enough to let down his guard, it did crazy things to her. Like popping candy hitting her bloodstream. “Even more important, we know that we fit together. In battle together, or planning for Mylena’s future, even while arguing…and definitely when I kiss you…nobody fits me like you do.”

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YaReads Presents: Greta And The Glass Kingdom + Giveaway

greta and the glass kingdom
Greta and the Glass Kingdom (Mylena Chronicles #2) by Chloe Jacobs
Published February 9th, 2015
Published by Entangled Teen
320 Pages
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Once upon a dark time…
Greta the human bounty hunter never quite fit into the shadowed, icy world of Mylena. Yet she’s managed to defeat the demon Agramon and win the love of the darkly intense Goblin King, Isaac. Now Isaac wants her to rule by his side—a human queen. And the very announcement is enough to incite rebellion…
To make matters worse, defeating Agramon left Greta tainted with a dark magick. Its unclean power threatens to destroy her and everything she loves. With the Goblin King’s life and the very peace of Mylena at stake, Greta must find a cure and fast.
Her only hope lies with the strange, elusive faeries in the Glass Kingdom…if she can get there before the evil within her destroys everything.

My Thoughts
Greta And The Glass Kingdom puts readers right back into the thick of the unrest in Myleana.  Only this time, Greta has a front row seat for all of the drama unfolding inside The Goblin King's castle?

How can she not?

She is slated to become his queen after all!

That is if his subjects can stop themselves killing her or each other before the coronation.

And...
If she can find a way to control the powerful, dark magic coursing through her.  Threatening to consume her very soul at the slightest lapse in her control.  Pushing Issac toward his Goblin nature with each passing day.

Their only hope?

The elusive court of the fae. In the long closed Glass Kingdom.

Or are their promises of aid and friendship just another lie?
Are the risks worth the possible gains?
Will Greta, Issac, and Myleana survive?

This book is stunning!  Issac and Greta are better than ever! The threats to both their lives and the kingdom are growing more numerous by the day, and there are still humans left to find and save.

The world of Greta And The Glass Kingdom is so easy to get lost in.
The characters, creatures, plot twists, betrayals, and unexpected alliances.  Coupled with the romance breakneck pace and ever present action, takes this series and all who read it to a new level of fantasy.

Every aspect of this story is perfect.  This is the type of story that creates readers.  The kind of read that requires snacks, a favorite reading spot, scheduled trips to the bathroom and a serious DO NOT DISTURB SIGN!


Buy The Book:

: chloe jacobs 
 Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she’d at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers. 

 Author Website: www.chloejacobs.com Author Twitter: @Jacobs_Chloe 


   Read below for an excerpt from Greta and the Lost Army:
The streetlamps cast soft cones of light on the sidewalks all the way through the neighborhood. Greta pointed things out as she remembered them. “That’s where my friend Danielle used to live. I guess she probably still lives there.” “Are you looking forward to seeing her again?” She nodded. “And if I remember correctly, she’s more hyper than a Mylean berserker—only less ripping and tearing, and more frenzied hugging and constant talking.” The rumble of his amused chuckle made her grin. He squeezed her hand. She looked up at him, and it hit her. “You know, this is kind of like a date,” she said, tingles of awareness dancing up her spine. His smile was crooked, and his eyes warm as he laid his arm across her shoulders, making her feel like he would rather be here with her right now than anywhere else. It probably wasn’t true. They were both too worried about Mylena for it to ever leave their minds completely, but maybe one day it would be true. “What would be the purpose of a date?” There was such a thing as courtship in Mylena, but she and Isaac had pretty much bypassed anything resembling normal…in both worlds. What if she was wrong and the portal didn’t open again? What if they stayed here? There could be more nights just like this, and eventually maybe they would get a place of their own and… “You know, so a couple can get to know one another and decide if they like each other.” “But we already know we like each other.” When they were alone like this and his voice softened because he trusted her enough to let down his guard, it did crazy things to her. Like popping candy hitting her bloodstream. “Even more important, we know that we fit together. In battle together, or planning for Mylena’s future, even while arguing…and definitely when I kiss you…nobody fits me like you do.”

The Giveaway: Winner’s choice of $5 Amazon Gift Card or a print or eBook copy of Greta and the Goblin King or Greta and the Glass Kingdom. As well as notebook, a pen with the words "Dream bigger darling," and Hammond's candy.
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YA Reads Presents: Greta And The Goblin King + Giveaway




Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles #1) by Chloe Jacobs Published December 11th, 2012 Published by Ent
angled Teen 279 Pages Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy Goodreads 

Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13260802-greta-and-the-goblin-king 
Amazon.com Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Greta-Goblin-King-Chloe-Jacobs/dp/1620610027
 B&N Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/greta-and-the-goblin-king-chloe-jacobs/1109952855 iTunes Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/greta-and-the-goblin-king/id953103909
Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/greta-and-the-goblin-king-1
 Amazon.co.uk Buy Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greta-Goblin-King-Mylena-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00R6AVKHY/
Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Greta-Goblin-King-Chloe-Jacobs/dp/1620610027
Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/greta-and-the-goblin-king/

  While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse. To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…


My Thoughts...
This is a a book for those readers who want to be transported into their stories right away.
Because this story packs a great many elements of high fantasy into a very slight 279 pages.  Authoress Chloe Jacobs leaves very little wiggle room for long winded diatribes or meandering plots,common to the genre.

Choosing instead, to draw readers in with vibrant, flawed, and very complex characters. A lightening speed pace, and enough plot twists to leave one dizzy.

Leading lady Greta offers readers a hero to champion, a lost girl to fret over, and an enchanting love interest.

Leading man Isaac, is mysterious, alluring, secretive, fierce, loyal, magical, manipulative...and a Goblin King.
Isaac is a character to love simply for shock value; if nothing else.
There are so many facets to him however, that he is simply spectacular.

This book is based on a "golden one" trope.  Meaning that Greta is the one that can either save Myleana, or destroy it.  What makes this story so appealing, is the fact that readers can never be completely sure which side of the coin she's on.  Or even if she truly has a side at all.

What one can be sure of though, is the attraction between Isaac and Greta.  Whenever these two share scenes, sparks fly!
Just to throw a fly in the ointment...
There is a bit of a love triangle between Greta, Issac, and a certain kind, sweet, understanding, lostboy.

Hmmmmmm...

Speaking of "lost boys".
This story element is where things that have been fantasy for so long to Greta, suddenly become very real.
Bring on the feels, baby!
Discoveries, revelations, choices, and emotions abound!

The world bulding and baddie are the only areas of the story that didn't come into razor sharp focus.
Because this is the first book in a series however, there is plenty of time for their development in later books.

Raw, exhilarating, emotionally charged, and action packed!
Greta And The Goblin King!



About the Author
: chloe jacobs 
 Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she’d at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers. 

 Author Website: www.chloejacobs.com Author Twitter: @Jacobs_Chloe 


   Read below for an excerpt from Greta and the Lost Army:
The streetlamps cast soft cones of light on the sidewalks all the way through the neighborhood. Greta pointed things out as she remembered them. “That’s where my friend Danielle used to live. I guess she probably still lives there.” “Are you looking forward to seeing her again?” She nodded. “And if I remember correctly, she’s more hyper than a Mylean berserker—only less ripping and tearing, and more frenzied hugging and constant talking.” The rumble of his amused chuckle made her grin. He squeezed her hand. She looked up at him, and it hit her. “You know, this is kind of like a date,” she said, tingles of awareness dancing up her spine. His smile was crooked, and his eyes warm as he laid his arm across her shoulders, making her feel like he would rather be here with her right now than anywhere else. It probably wasn’t true. They were both too worried about Mylena for it to ever leave their minds completely, but maybe one day it would be true. “What would be the purpose of a date?” There was such a thing as courtship in Mylena, but she and Isaac had pretty much bypassed anything resembling normal…in both worlds. What if she was wrong and the portal didn’t open again? What if they stayed here? There could be more nights just like this, and eventually maybe they would get a place of their own and… “You know, so a couple can get to know one another and decide if they like each other.” “But we already know we like each other.” When they were alone like this and his voice softened because he trusted her enough to let down his guard, it did crazy things to her. Like popping candy hitting her bloodstream. “Even more important, we know that we fit together. In battle together, or planning for Mylena’s future, even while arguing…and definitely when I kiss you…nobody fits me like you do.”

  The Giveaway: Winner’s choice of $5 Amazon Gift Card or a print or eBook copy of Greta and the Goblin King or Greta and the Glass Kingdom. As well as notebook, a pen with the words "Dream bigger darling," and Hammond's candy.
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Will "Stray" Find A Home On Your TBR Pile?

793399 Title:  Stray
(Shifters #1)
Author:  Rachel Vincent
Format: Kindle
Length:  618  pages
Publisher:  Mira
Rating:  3 Stars

There are only eight breeding female werecats left...

And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
Faythe Sanders is a were-cat.
More importantly, she also just happens to be the only daughter of one of the most powerful alphas in the U.S.
Try as she might. Faythe just can't seem to shake her father's need to keep her as close to home, and the Pride as possible.
Now, with a band of stray cats kidnapping and killing the prized few 'unmated tabbies' from various prides. Daddy dearest may have good reason to keep his 'wild child' very close indeed.
This is a very fast paced and light read. It takes absolutely no time at all to fully immerse yourself in the story. The one thing that becomes rather annoyingly apparent right away, is the way that every male in the Pride tries to coddle Faythe. Even after they realize that she is more than capable of fending for herself.

Everyone that is except for her 'on again off again' boyfriend/almost husband/I can only sleep with you when I'm drunk, but please feel free to save my ass when I'm in trouble...person. Marc Ramos has got to be the most tortured leading man in history! He loves his lady in a way that only a soul mate can.

Purrr-fectly! (When she'll let him...of course!)

The real fun comes when the bad (insert appropriate expletive here) happens. Resulting in Faythe being front and center for some pretty bad (appropriate expletive.)
There is a ton of action to be had here, as well as a few jaw dropping surprises about who is behind things.
Unfortunately, this is also where things take several detours into stupid-land. With baddies too hopped up on testosterone to avoid tripping over their own brains.

Estrogen rules!
And apparently, ovaries kick ass!
At least the ones attached to Faythe Sanders do!

The world building in this book is OK. The time that the characters spend in their animal forms seems far too short. But because this is the opening volume of a multi-volume series. Chances are very good that
readers will become well acquainted with the world they are introduced to in STRAY.




About Rachel
Rachel Vincent
A resident of Oklahoma, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. 

Find Her:  Web / FB / GR / Twitter 


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Awaken To The Reality Of Anxieties, Illness, and Love In "Butterfly Dreams"

24481467 Title:  Butterfly Dreams
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Format:  eARC
Length:  TBD
Publisher:  Loveswept
Rating:  5 Stars

In a powerful romance for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay, New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters tells the story of a troubled young woman and the unforgettable guy who teaches her to live—and love—to the fullest.

She’s waiting to die. . . . Corin Thompson is paralyzed by her obsession with mortality. Having lost both of her parents, she is terrified by the idea that she too will die young, and she loses control at any sign of illness. But when Corin connects with someone who has survived a very real brush with death, she begins to see the world in a whole new way.

He’s learning to live. . . . As Corin struggles under the weight of her neuroses, Beckett Kingsley is attempting to rebuild a life that feels all too temporary. With the ever-present threat of heart failure never far from his mind, he just wants to make the most of whatever time he has left. And that means pursuing the girl he never expected to find. 


Together, Corin and Beckett finally learn to let go of their fears and take solace in everyday pleasures. Who knows what the future holds? After all, nothing lasts forever—the only promise they have is right now -Goodreads


My Thoughts
This is a very emotionally taxing read.  Looking at the Corin Thompson that readers meet in this book's opening pages; one is compelled to either shake her or hug her.  She presents as a young woman fighting against severe mental demons in the effort to build some semblance of a life.  She has a home, a business, and has even managed a friendship or two.

The problem?

Corin wants to die.
Correction.  She is obsessed with a death that she swears is impending.
A death that she has almost, just almost, made peace with.

Until...

She meets Beckett Kingsley.  A young man learning to live on borrowed time.
Time counted down beat by beat to the rythym of his failing heart.
When a chance meeting between Corin and Beckett turns into an unlikely friendship and more.  Corin slowly finds her way past the pain of her parent's deaths, through the anxiety that steals her breath at the slightest provocation, and beyond the loneliness that she wears like a protective shroud.

She begins instead to live, love, and breathe.

So much of this read is spent coping with the pain and loneliness that both Beckett and Corin share.  As such, it is almost a relief when the two of them begin to craft the two person bubble in which they find themselves mid book.

The only problem with this newly formed bubble.  The fact that Corin is carrying a secret.  A secret that has the power to derail everything that has been so carefully building between them.
Unless the time on Beckett's clock runs out before.

This book will make you angry.  There is no way around it.  It will also make you hope, smile, laugh, and love.
Corin becomes stronger as she learns to live everyday like it is her last with Beckett.
This is not to say that she is living for Beckett.  Not the case at all.
She instead, learns that she deserves to live, and is even managing to make a difference in the lives of both her friends and her clients in the process.
For his part, Beckett learns that though life as he had known it before his diagnosis is no more; he does still have the ability to be a person, a friend, a lover, important.

This book should be a must read on the tbr on those who love reading honest stories of illness, anxiety, love, self-esteem, and healing.




About A. Meredith Walters
A. Meredith WaltersThe New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and New Adult romances including the Bad Rep, Find You in the Dark, Reclaiming the Sand, and Twisted Love series.

Find Her:  Web / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook /
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Tasty Book Tours Presents: Forbidden Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway

Enter to Win a 
$25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller


FORBIDDEN
Beverly Jenkins
Releasing on January 26, 2016
Avon 


USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West

Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed ofone that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.

Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .


Excerpt #1
Denver
Spring 1870
Stop him! Eddy Carmichael screamed, scrambling to her feet from the mud. The man whod snatched her purse and shoved her down was now running away down the dark Denver street. Taking off in pursuit, she called for help, but there were no policemen about and the few people on the walks nearby gave her no more than a passing glance. Up ahead, the thief turned a corner. Not wanting to lose him, she ran faster, but by the time she reached the spot, hed disappeared. Frantically casting about for clues as to his whereabouts, she saw nothing. Anger turned to frustration and then to despair. Inside the purse had been her paltry months pay and the train ticket to California shed purchased less than an hour ago. Shed been saving for the passage for months in hopes of starting a new life in San Francisco.   Now, penniless, angry, her skirts and cloak covered with mud, she set out for home.
Eddy dreamed of owning her own restaurant. It was a common belief that women like her, the descendant of slaves, had no right to dream. Yet, she knew from the articles shed read in the newspapers that members of the race were pursuing theirs in spite of the disenfranchisement being ignored by Congress and the bloody lawlessness of Redemption ravaging the South. Colleges were being built, land was being purchased, and across the nation Black owned businesses were springing up like columbines in the spring. At the age of twenty- seven and unmarried, Eddy saw no such opportunities for herself in Denver, and now thanks to the thief those dreams were in peril.
Her home was a room she rented above a laundry owned by her landlady, Mrs. Lucretia Hampton. Eddy had been so sure of leaving town, shed already given the woman notice and the new tenant was due to move in tomorrow afternoon. Although Mrs. Hampton would show concern over Eddy being robbed, the laundress was first and foremost a businesswoman and would likely not alter the agreement.
Putting her key into the door lock of her room, Eddy stepped into the darkness. As always, the acrid scent of lye wafting up from the laundry below filled the air. The room was so tiny even a mouse would have difficulty turning around, but on her meager salary it was all she could afford. Having worn the mantle of poverty since the death of her parents twelve years ago, she was grateful to have it. Making her way through the shadows over to the pallet that served as her bed, she struck a match and set the flame against the stub of candle in the old tin saucer that sat atop a battered wooden crate. While the wavering light filled the room, she removed her mud- stained cloak. Rather than attempt to clean it with the small bit of water in her basin, she hung it on the nail protruding from the back of the door with the hope that once the mud dried it would be easier to remove. She put her last pieces of kindling into the hearth. The resulting heat would be minimal but at least the flames held beauty, another element her life lacked. Warming her hands, she thought about her plight. She supposed she could remain in Denver and start saving again. Choosing that route meant finding another room to rent and a new job, because shed given her employer notice, too. Six months ago, the hotel where shed worked for the past three years as a cook had been purchased by a new owner whose first act had been to remove Eddy and every other person of color from the kitchen. He offered her a new job scrubbing floors for less money. The demotion was both infuriating and humiliating, but knowing how blessed she was to still have employment, shed swallowed her anger and scrubbed the floors until they shone. Even then, he constantly found fault with her work and routinely docked her pay for what he termed inferior effort. She knew for a fact hed never offer her the job back, and there was no way shed be able to rent another room without one.
She ran her hands over her eyes and sighed. She didnt want to stay in Denver, not even for another day. Her future lay elsewhere and she knew that as sure as she knew her name, but how could she could get the money for another ticket? Mrs. Hampton didnt give loans. The Colored community was small and most were as pinched by poverty as she. Those who werent certainly wouldnt loan her money even if she had the gall to ask. Her only relative in the city was her younger sister Corinne, and asking her for money made about as much as sense as asking the new owner of the hotel. After the deaths of their mother Constance and teamster father Ben in a blizzard, Eddy did everything she could to provide for herself and sister; she took in laundry, cooked for the wealthy, looked after their children, and swept their floors. But her beautiful baby sister chose to fall back on her looks and figure and took up with a pimp in the citys red- light district. Although the pimp was long gone, Corinne still resided there along with her two young daughters. Eddy knew her sister would laugh in her face for having the audacity to ask for money. Corinne had nothing but derision for Eddys desire to better her life, but Corinne was her last resort. It was too late to pay her a visit at the moment, but shed planned to stop by on her way to the station in the morning to say good- bye to her nieces anyway. Now, her visit would be about something different entirely.
At least I wont have much to pack, she said softly. Shed sold what little possessions shed had in order to help pay her rent and purchase the train ticket. What remained was her mothers locket, a cast iron skillet, her small cookstove brazier, and a few meager changes of clothing. She had nothing else. Were she not so accustomed to having to claw her way through life, she might have collapsed and wept, but being made of sterner stuff, shed learned long ago that weeping changed nothing.

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My Thoughts
Eddy and Rhine's story is one of the most emotionally and historically relevant tales that this reviewer has encountered within the realm of Historical Romance.

Readers are thrust into what are essentially three stories within the course of this novel.
There is Rhine's back story, Eddy's story, and the story created  as a result of their interactions.
The reason that special attention is given to the stories in this way, is the fact that each change brings about a marked change in point of view and the motives, actions, and thoughts of the people around them.

Another wonderful aspect of this read is the detailing of the social hierarchy within the black community.   Seeing the color caste system being acted out before one's eyes, is quite an unforgettable experience.

While Eddy does prove quite the plucky young heroine, it is quite clear that Rhine's character and story are going to carry the story.  The fact that he gives up a life of ease, privilege, and advancement...for love!  This makes him the ultimate hero.

This book feels less like a story, and more like a slice of life.
You are able to put yourself into the mind of each character, whether main or supporting.  You get a real sense of who they are, and you come to see them as whole, flawed, people.

The romance between Rhine and Eddy is set at a slow and steady simmer.  Given everything that these two have swirling around them, the quiet that their stolen moments provide acts as a balm to the emotionally taxed reader.

This is a fantastically realized novel.  There is so much history, diversity, drama, and romance...readers won't know where to look first.
They can rest assured that where ever their eyes take them within the course of this story.  The raw beauty of the sight will remain with them for a lifetime.


Interview with Beverly Jenkins

Q. Beverly, please tell us a bit about the New Book and Series.

A. The book is titled: Forbidden and is set in 1875 Virginia City Nevada. Our hero, Rhine Fontaine is a saloon owner and a pillar of the community. Our heroine Eddy Carmichael is a cook from Denver and is traveling to California to fulfill a dream of opening her own restaurant when things go awry. She is robbed by a man impersonating a priest and left to die in the desert. Rhine finds her. Books 2 and 3 will focus on Eddys nieces Portia and Regan. 


Q. Did you do anything different with your research this time around?

A. I didnt do anything out of the norm for me.  A recently conducted archeological dig in Virginia City unearthed the remains of a high end 1870s saloon founded by a man of color. It, like many of the citys other business establishments  was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1875. I based Rhines saloon on that real saloon.


 Q. What about the Wild West called you?

A. Who doesnt like the scope and sweep of the Wild West? Ive written quite a few westerns. That I get to add to the standard lore stories about men and women who looked like me along with the Buffalo Soldiers, the all Black townships of Kansas and the black and the brown outlaws and lawmen of Indian Territory makes it even more of a blast. 


Q. Who did you have more of a connection with while writing, the hero or the heroine?

A. It depends on the story. Sometimes the story belongs to the hero and at other times the heroines. It can also belong to both. I let the characters decide. 


 Q. Can you share a small teaser from your favorite scene of the book, or describe your favorite scene?


Eddy awakened in a four-poster in a large room barely lit by a turned down lamp. Having no idea where she was or how she came to be there, she shook the cobwebs dulling her thinking and noticed she was wearing a mans shirt! Perplexed, her eyes moved around the room to a well-appointed sitting area and then to the face of a White man watching her from one of the chairs. Panic flared. She snatched the blanket to her neck and she drew back fearfully.
  Don't be afraid. You're safe. I'm Rhine Fontaine. My friend Jim and I found you in the desert.
Confused, she tried to force herself to calm down so she could make some sense of this, but she couldn't. Watching him warily, she asked, Where am I? Her throat was dry as sand. She wanted water badly, but needed to solve the mystery of this first.
Virginia City.
And this place is?
My bedroom.
Her eyes went wide. I need to go, I cant stay here.
Maybe in a few days, but right now
Alarmed, she didn't let him finish. She swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her mind was so foggy she wasn't sure what was happening, but she knew she had to get away.
He stood and said urgently, No! You'll fall!
He was right. The moment she stood, she was hit by a wave of weakness so strong her legs folded as if they were made of cards. She cried out involuntarily as she hit the floor.
He walked over to her. As I said, maybe in a few days. Are you okay?
Drawing away again, she looked up and recognized the face of the man from her dream. She stilled. Had it been a dream? Ill scream!
He sighed. If you feel that's necessary, go right ahead, but I'm not going to hurt you in any way. When your done, I can help you back into bed, or carry you to the facilities, whichever you'd prefer.
Heated embarrassment burned her cheeks. Her needs were not something she talked about to a stranger, and especially not a White man stranger. I can walk.
No, you cant, but if you want to try, Ill wait.
 At that moment she saw her bare legs sticking out from beneath the long-tailed shirt, and also realized she had on no underthings! Not drawers. No shift. As quickly as her weakened state allowed, she reached up and pulled the blanket down. Ignoring him as best she could, she covered her bare legs. This was getting worse and worse.
As I said, my names Rhine. And yours?
Eddy. Eddy Carmichael.
Pleased to meet you, Miss Carmichael. You gave my partner Jim and me quite a scare out there in the desert, but Im pleased to see you are recovering.
Then her muddled brain remembered Jack Nash's perfidy and her walk across the desert, but nothing else. How long have I been here?
Four or five hours.
Lord, she was thirsty. May I have some water please? she croaked. She felt so weak. It was not a state she was accustomed to.
He poured her a glass from a pitcher on the nightstand and handed it to her. Slowly, he advised softly. Just a little for now.
She nodded and took a few short swallows. The water tasted so good and she was so thirsty she wanted to down the entire offering, but heeding his advice, she took only a few more slow pulls. Done, she handed the glass back and her parched throat savored the relief. Why am I so weak?
Walking the Forty Mile Desert under a full sun takes its toll. So, Miss Eddy facilities or back to bed?
She hated to admit it but she really needed choice number one. Thoroughly scandalized, she confessed softly, The facilities, but I can walk. Just point me in the right direction. Looking around, she didnt see a screen of any kind.
Its at the end of the hallway.  
Oh, she said disappointedly. Still bent on getting there under her own power, though, she wrestled with the blanket in an attempt to fashion it around her waist. Trying to get it out from under her hips and secured without treating him to another show of her legs was a struggle, however. Hed seen more of them than any man ever before.
 Do you want to go today? he asked in a tone of muted amusement.
She shot him a glare. Reasonably certain the blanket was secured, she said, Yes. Now she just had to get up. No small task. The fullness of the blanket made it difficult to get her feet planted so she could stand. She decided shed use the side of the bed to give her the leverage she needed. She scooted closer.
You always this stubborn, Miss Carmichael?
Its called determination, Mr. Fontaine.
I stand corrected.
Giving him another withering glare, she grabbed hold of the beds wooden side panel and began working herself to her knees. She made a bit of progress, but her weakened state conspired against her efforts. Refusing to surrender and breathing harshly, she slowly inched herself to a standing position, careful not to get her feet fouled by the swath of blanket, and promptly keeled face forward onto the mattress.
Chuckling softly, he picked her up from behind and placed her gently into the cradle of his strong arms. He smiled softly. Its called stubbornness.
Rolling her eyes, she allowed herself to be carried from the room.


  Q. What is next for you?  What are you working on now?

A. Next up for me is the June debut of the 7th book in my Blessings series which is women's fiction. The title: Stepping To A New Day. Im presently working on Portias story which I hope will be out in the fall.   

Thank you for taking the time to talk about FORBIDDEN
Thanks so much for this opportunity to meet you and your readers.

Ms. Jenkins is the nation's premier writer of African American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She has over thirty published novels to date.

She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club.

She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe Magazine. She has lectured and given talks at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th century African-American history and was the 2014 featured speaker for the W.W. Law Lecture Series sponsored by the Savannah Black Heritage Festival.




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"Forbidden In February" Offers Quite The Romantic Temptation

28254666Title:  Forbidden In February
Author:  Suzanna Medeiros
Format:  eARC
Length:  71 pages
Publisher:  Suzanna Medeiros
Rating:  4 Stars

Robert Milton’s future as the valet to the Duke of Beckworth is uncertain. His employer has died, leaving no heir in sight. When Robert’s mother also dies, he discovers that her companion has taken over her household.

Isabel Durham’s dream of gaining her independence is almost a reality, but her cousin is determined to see her married to a wealthy but much-older man. Robert’s arrival in London is the answer to her prayers. Neither can deny the very real attraction sizzling between them and if he ruins her, she’ll be free of the unwanted marriage.

But Robert’s very existence has proven to him that romantic entanglements are to be avoided at all costs. His desire for Isabel could cost him the one thing he’s vowed never to lose—his heart.

A YEAR WITHOUT A DUKE

The duke has died. Long live the duke! The only problem is no one knows who the new Duke of Beckworth is. All of England wonders, but no one more so than the people who depend upon Beckworth for their livelihood. In 1816, a year so cold that the word “summer” is a cruel joke, that livelihood is even more uncertain. However, they are all about to find out, with the duke away, there is nothing more warming than scandal and love…

A YEAR WITHOUT A DUKE...
Book 1: JILTED IN JANUARY by Kate Pearce;
Book 2: FORBIDDEN IN FEBRUARY by Suzanna Medeiros;
Book 3: SEDUCED IN SEPTEMBER by Genevieve Turner;
Book 4: AN AFFAIR IN AUTUMN by Jennifer Haymore; 

Book 5: A DUKE BY DECEMBER by Sabrina Darby.

My Thoughts
Robert Milton is a man haunted by the choices of others.
Estranged from his mother, and sure that a letter from her claiming that she is dying is a fake.  Upon his return home, Robert is surprised to find that not only has his mother died.  She has left the beautiful Isabel Durham behind to greet her son.

This is the wonderfully realized tale of a man whose uncertain future puts him face to face with both the ghosts of his past, and the possibilities of his future.

Robert is a delightfully skeptical creature.  Unable believe that the young woman does not have self serving motives.
It is not until he finds out about her social climbing cousin's plan to marry her off to an older man, that he will have anything to do with her.

This is a very well written story.  The relationship between Robert and Isabel develops slowly.  The passion between the two reads as very authentic. The only thing stand between this story and 5 stars, is a rushed ending that throws the relationship quite close to insta-love territory.

Reviewer's Note:  This is the second offering in a 5-book series. This is a companion series that may be read as a collection, or as standalone works.

About Suzanna

Suzanna MedeirosSuzanna Medeiros was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her love for the written word led her to pursue a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree, but graduated at a time when no teaching jobs were available. After working at a number of interesting places, including a federal inquiry, a youth probation office, and the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario, she decided to pursue her first love - writing.

Suzanna is married to her own hero and is the proud mother of twin daughters. She is an avowed romantic who enjoys spending her days writing love stories.

She would like to thank her parents for showing her that "love at first" sight and "happily ever after" really do exist.

To learn more about Suzanna's new releases you can sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nmliD.
 
 
 
 
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