Wednesday, October 31, 2018

REVIEW of A Bone to Pick by Melinda Leigh

Release Date:
October 30th, 2018

Deputy Tessa Black gave up her career as a detective with the Seattle PD and returned to the Pacific Northwest island she calls home to care for her ailing mother. Tessa thinks her mother’s illness is the worst thing she’ll face—until she responds to a routine call in the state park and discovers a local man harpooned to a sign.

As the murder investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the victim harbored secrets. Together with her FBI agent best friend, Cate, and park ranger Logan Wilde, Tessa must connect the pieces before the murderer strikes again. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself—and the ones she loves—in harm’s way.

Pressure mounts as Tessa attempts to juggle the current case with her search for the truth behind her childhood friend Samantha’s disappearance twenty years ago. Can Tessa find the murderer and uncover answers about Samantha without jeopardizing everything she holds dear?

My Thoughts…

A novella is not always easy to read.  Sometimes it seems that you only get part of the story or the story seems unfinished.    With A Bone to Pick there is a complete story.   There is a definite ending and no cliffhangers or to be continued.  

A gruesome murder takes place and Tessa must solve the crime while taking care of her aging mother.  Luckily there is help on the island for her.    It was amazing how much they could do when they are such a small community with limited resources.    It helps that Tessa comes from a larger department and she brings in the FBI to help.    I liked how much she relied on Logan Wilde, a local park ranger.   Tessa uses all the resources available to her while keeping her cool to solve the murder.

I am new to the Widow’s Island series and not familiar with the underlining story of Samantha and didn’t feel that this novella gave many clues as to what was going on with that part of the book.    I am intrigued enough to want to go back and read the first book and continue reading the series to learn more.   

This is a quick and fun novella by Melinda Leigh.   Pick it up, read it, and meet some intriguing characters.

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About the Author: Melinda Leigh

Melinda Leigh abandoned her career in banking to raise her kids and never looked back. She started writing as a hobby and became addicted to creating characters and stories. Since then, she has won numerous writing awards for her paranormal romance and romantic-suspense fiction. Her debut novel, She Can Run, was a number one bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense, a 2011 Best Book Finalist (The Romance Reviews), and a nominee for the 2012 International Thriller Award for Best First Book. She is the author of the Midnight Novels, including Midnight Exposure (a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense) and Midnight Sacrifice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

REVIEW of Lies Never Sleep by Stacy Claflin

Lies Never Sleep: A thriller with a twist ending you'll never see coming

Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published October 17th 2018

Two teens break into a long-abandoned insane asylum. Neither walks out.

Atlas James and Emmett Powell are best friends determined to make a name for themselves no matter the cost. They enter the dilapidated mental hospital eager to find a ghost or relic that will become their claim to fame. Instead, they vanish without a trace.

As friends and family learn of their disappearance, fear gives way to accusations and dark secrets come to light. Everyone in the small town has something to hide, and anyone could be behind what happened to the teens.

Somebody knows the truth, but no one’s talking. Will the community push aside their differences and come together for the sake of the missing boys? Or will more lives be destroyed to keep long-buried secrets hidden?

Only a confession will yield answers. But honesty is the one thing in short supply. 

My Thoughts…

Stacy Claflin is an author that writes paranormal, sweet romance, and thrillers.   I am a HUGE fan of her thrillers.     Lies Never Sleep is a thriller that I couldn’t put down.    I was kept on the edge of my seat, turning page after page, reading word after word, and guessing as to how had taken Atlas and Emmett.  

 I had so many guesses, there were so many clues but until Stacy decided to share the answer I never got it right.    I loved that once it was shared who was guilty that it all made sense.     The author has an amazing talent of taking a story, pulling it all together, and tying it up perfectly.    Lies Never Sleep has everything I look for in a thriller.     There is family dynamics, which are not always neat and clean.  The friendships are true and strong until they are not.     The clues shared throughout the story tell the real story and when it all comes together it all makes sense.  
With each book I read of Stacy’s she proves herself to be a go-to author for me.    I highly recommend picking up your own copy of Lies Never Sleep.     It will keep you awake at night with the need to read just a little more, which turns into a lot more and then ends up being the entire book.   

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Monday, October 29, 2018

COVER REVEAL for Release by J.P. Nicholas

J.P. Nicholas is sharing the cover for his upcoming release, RELAPSE with us! I am so excited to share it with you and grab your copy November 19th!


Author: J.P. Nicholas

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 19th


I broke his heart. Now I hope he doesn’t break mine back.   Darren Gracen looks even sexier than the day I left him. Oh, and let’s not forget that panty-dropping British accent. Just being around him again is bringing back all the sweet and sinful memories we shared together. Smelling his masculine scent in the same vicinity gets me high and makes my heart flutter.   But he’s not the same man I left behind. There’s a sad, mysterious gleam in his eye. Sure, it could be that he doesn’t trust me anymore. That’s understandable, considering the circumstances of our breakup. But I can’t help but feel that it’s more than that. Like he’s hiding something behind those brooding blue eyes of his.   No matter what it is, I can’t deny it…I still want him.

Exclusive Excerpt:

All amusement vanishes from his lips as his mouth turns into a straight line. He raises a bushy brow, causing a crease to form on his forehead. He eyes me carefully, as if his words are going to send me running to the hills. Based on my track record, they just might. That seems to be my MO where he’s concerned. “Do you want the full-truth or the half-truth?” “Both,” I force out, unsure of whether I want to know what the full-truth consists of. As soon as the word flies out of my mouth, Darren stands up and walks over to my side of the table. A shiver runs down my spine when he drums his fingers on my shoulder. They brush the delicate skin on my neck as he parts my hair to the side, leaving the nape of my neck exposed to his hungry gaze. My head lolls back and I bite back a moan when he presses his lips to the apex of the flesh where my shoulder and neck meet. He slowly trails kisses up my neck, the mere contact singeing my skin. My heart beats faster with each lingering peck. “The half-truth is I want our friendship back. You were my best mate at some point. The one person I trusted more than anybody. The one shoulder I could always lean on. The only woman who could always make me laugh, even on my worst day. I miss that. And I want that again.” Even though his words are muffled, I can still feel the weight of their sincerity squeezing my chest as he whispers them to my neck. “And, the full-truth?” I ask breathily, my mind still swirling from this connection. Having his lips on me again feels so right, even though I know it’s wrong. I should stop this, cease all physical contact, but my body won’t let me. “I want so much more than just friendship with you, Alyssa. I want a fresh start. A second chance to be with you. To try all over again. I know you’re scared, and quite honestly, I’m fucking terrified too. But I have no doubt that there’s no other woman like you, my Cherub.” I hum as he sucks on the spot right under my chin, making it very difficult to string the jumbled-up words bouncing in my brain together to make a sentence. “Darren, I—” “Shhh,” he presses a finger to my lips, silencing me. “Please, don’t make your decision now. Spend some time thinking about it. When you have an answer, come find me. Gray house on Sand Dollar Road. Goodnight, Cherub.” With those parting words, he swipes the powdered donut off the table, and exits the premises, leaving me with a lot more questions than answers. Oh, and a newly awakened libido.

About J.P. Nicolas:

J.P. Nicholas has the great misfortune to be A Male Romance Writer. Turns out, men are also hopeless romantics, given half the chance, and Nicholas’ fascination with love began long before he could write. His parents—high school sweethearts who are still mad for each other—left him enamored with the idea of true love, and its ability to transform and redeem even the most jaded soul. Nicholas lives to capture this magic, lust, and passion on the page; his characters known for their sizzling chemistry and chest-squeezing plot lines.   When J.P. Nicholas isn’t tapping away at his laptop, he can be found in his home state of Florida, binge-watching This Is Us with his girlfriend, or devouring Italian food with his family. His latest novel, Just Pretend, is a friends-to-lovers drama and the first in his new Sandy Heights series, to be released in June.

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REVIEW of The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: October 16th 2018 by Viking

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, a spellbindingly suspenseful novel set in the moneyed world of the Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that can’t be escaped

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbors political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets—the kind of secrets that could kill her, too. The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

My Thoughts…

I have no clue what Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier is, other than it’s a book that Lisa Gabriele based The Winters on.     That means I came into this story without knowing what the story would entail, where the story would go, and what I was reading.   For me, this was a great thing.   I started the book with an open mind, an excitement for what I was about to read, and an interest in learning whatever I can about the characters.    Lisa Gabriele wrote a story that kept me reading, guessing, and wondering what was going to happen with Max Winters, his fiancé, and his daughter.  

The love story of Max and his fiancé was intriguing.   Instantly I felt there was more to come for them, while I hoped for happiness I knew that it couldn’t be that easy.   There were so many unknowns, so many twists, turns, ups and downs that I was kept on my toes.    I loved that I was kept guessing and that I truly didn’t know what was going to happen until it actually happens.   When Max returned home to the estate that he lived in with his dead wife and his teenage daughter I knew that there had to be more to come.   Dani was a typical teenager as far as not being happy that her father met someone new and did the teenage things to make her not welcome in their lives.    

There was so much anticipation, the story was told little by little, with each dialogue I had to guess what wasn’t being told and what the truth was.    The Winters is a psychological thriller that kept me turning page after page excited to see where this story would go next.    

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A Conversation with Lisa Gabriele
Author of The Winters

1.       The Winters begins like a lot of books, with a handsome man sweeping a young woman off her feet. But at its heart, this is a story about women—our unnamed heroine, plucked out of her quiet existence; Rebekah, the dead first wife who haunts her dreams; and Dani, Rebekah’s vengeful teenage daughter. Did you set out to write a story about female relationships, power, and sexuality?

Yes. I’m obsessed with female relationships, sex, and power, and how they intersect. These are my favorite things to read and write about. The genesis of this book began with me thinking about the women in Rebecca, and all the ways modern female characters and a new setting would completely change their relationship with each other. Suddenly The Winters became an exercise in demonstrating how much women have changed in contemporary times, and how some men, especially rich and powerful ones, really have not. I mean, think about all the different ways patriarchy still shapes and molds our lives as women. My narrator certainly has agency, she has a job of her own that she’s quite good at, and a potential role model of a single working woman, but despite this, she’s still deeply susceptible to the lure of a “happily ever after.” And with Max’s daughter Dani, I got to play around with some of my worst fears around young women and social media, on the difficulty of getting your new boyfriend’s kid to accept you, and about feminism’s so-called generational divide. Dani is 15 going on 40, an heiress with a chauffeur, a tutor, and thirty thousand Instagram followers. She isn’t going to make life easy for her new stepmother-to-be. And what better wedge for her to use than the memory of her dead (perfect) mother, Rebekah? The relationship between her and the narrator was explosively fun to write. But this time, the primary question that hovers over the narrator’s image of the dead Rebekah isn’t about her sexuality, but rather her role as a mother—a much more loaded question these days.

2.      The Winters is inspired in part by Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Rebecca—an instant bestseller, first published in 1938, that has never gone out of print, reportedly selling 50,000 copies a year. And it’s obvious you’re a fan. What do you love about it, and what made you use it as the launching point for your novel?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of Rebecca. My mother, who died almost twenty years ago, introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock’s movie first, and whenever I miss her I reach for it. In the fall of 2016, in the despairing days of the U.S. election, I bought some ice cream and threw in the DVD to drown out the bad news. But this time, instead of comforted, it left me feeling deeply uneasy. I had to remind myself that in Daphne du Maurier’s book Maxim de Winter killed his sexually rebellious first wife, a fact that Hitchcock, due to Production Codes at the time, erased. I suddenly felt this strong desire to avenge Rebecca and punish Maxim. So I guess you could say nostalgia inspired me to reread the book, but anger drove me to write mine.

3.      Much of The Winters is set at Asherley, Max Winter’s opulent estate in the Hamptons. Why did you choose that setting?

I’ve always been fascinated with Long Island’s moneyed elite; a couple of my favorite books are set there. I loved the storied Gold Coast of The Great Gatsby, and the deceptively serene town in The Amityville Horror. I needed a place that combined history and horror and the Hamptons seemed like a natural choice. However, to pull off the violent conclusion, I also needed a location that wasn’t only private, but remote. In the research stage, I visited the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead and read about Gardiner’s Island. It’s one of the biggest swaths of privately owned land in America, purchased by Lion Gardiner from the Montaukett Indians in the 1600s, in exchange for a large black dog and some Dutch blankets. Today it’s worth more than $125 million dollars so keeping the island in the family has driven generations of Gardiners to sometimes concoct nefarious plots. So Winter’s Island was born, as was a motive for murder. I changed some geographic details, but the rest of its history and topography, its dense forests, the old ruins, the private beach and thick, marshy shores, are the same. Then there’s the mansion. I love a looming turret, so I made Asherley a Queen Anne Victorian—spookier, in my opinion, than the typical center hall design from the Gilded Age. Entering the house, with its paneled walls, oak and marble floors and mullioned windows, the reader falls back in time. The only modern touch is a dramatic, star-shaped greenhouse, Rebekah’s pride and joy, lodged, incongruously and a little violently, against the house, a constant reminder that this was once her domain. 

4.      As our narrator spends more time at Asherley and begins to discover her new family’s dark secrets, The Winters becomes a gripping slow-burn thriller. What are your tricks for building suspense and keeping the reader on the edge of their seat?   

E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” With The Winters I never set out to “write a thriller.” I just metaphorically made my headlights a little dimmer and the road ahead a little snakier, but kept the speed the same, (barely) avoiding smashing through the guardrails. Also the whole story is told from one POV. The narrator’s. We are only in her head. We only know what she knows. And she’s fed different versions of the same stories. So who to trust? You can also use short staccato sentences. They ratchet up the tension. Sometimes.

5.      Like many fictional politicians—from House of Cards’ Frank Underwood to the Senator in Joyce Carol Oates’ Black Water—Max Winter is powerful, charismatic, and fiercely ambitious. Why did you choose politics for Max’s career, and what made you want to dip into that world? 

As I mentioned above, the 2016 U.S. election consumed me, and the subsequent presidency has upended all norms. It’s been a struggle to keep up withthe controversies, the news being, for this former journalist, a constant distraction. But it’s also a source of inspiration. So I stopped fighting it. Since I couldn’t get away from the news, I folded some of my current fixations into my book. I didn’t want to date the book, or bog it down in current affairs, but divisive politics, and the corrosive effects of both social media and (questionable) Russian money on modern American life all make cameos. Presciently I finished the book at the start of the #metoo movement, which, like my book, demonstrates how important it is to believe women.

6.      You’ve been a journalist and an award-winning producer, in both radio and TV, for more than twenty years. When (and how) does your journalism background seep into your novels?

It always does, sometimes subtly and sometimes more obviously, but I am first and foremost a journalist. The books I write require research to get thesettings, tone, and era right, but it’s my favorite part of the job. And for me it’s unavoidable. My characters tend to arrive almost fully formed. So when the unnamed narrator of The Winters insisted she worked on boats, and Max decided to run for reelection in Suffolk County, I had some research to do. Learning about politics at the state level and proper boat terminology was interesting and fun. But I also consult experts. I reached out to a PhD in mortuary archeology to confirm how many years it would take for a body buried in a shallow grave to completely turn to skin and bones. And, thankfully, one of my best friends is a family lawyer, so I ran by her all the details about conservatorships and inheritances. The hardest part was trying to understand the murderous lengths to which some people will go to maintain their wealth and privilege, but one need only turn on CNN these days for that kind of research.

7.      The Winters takes many of its cues from classic novels—a plain unassuming heroine; a dashing older gentleman; a lavish estate; an inconvenient first wife. But the ending is decidedly more modern—even feminist. Without giving too much away, can you speak to how you went about crafting a contemporary version of these kinds of novels?

Writing a modern book that that still pays tribute to a beloved classic is a tricky balancing act. I am a huge fan of the ones done well: Jane Smiley’s King Lear redux, A Thousand Acres, Jean Rhys’ The Wide Sargasso Sea (which is actually a prequel to Jane Eyre, which du Maurier herself retold with Rebecca), Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible (a hilarious retelling of Pride and Prejudice), and Joanna Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility. The best ones preserve the original’s landmarks, though the terrain is completely different. They’re written in a contemporary style, though a sharp-eyed reader will spot my own iambic hexameter. And while the characters feel familiar, they’re not facsimiles. No character embodies all of these ideas more than Dani Winter, a 15-year old girl with all the traits of the average Millenial, minus any disadvantages. She has everything a girl her age could want, plus total freedom and the run ofthe house. She plays with her mother’s clothes and makeup, and the stories she tells about her run completely counter to her father’s. This presents a very current dilemma for our narrator. Does she believe the man she loves or his bratty kid? Dani becomes, then, a reminder that we longer live in an era where stories men tell about women take primacy over the ones they tell about themselves, as the #metoo movement is proving. Women just aren’t having that anymore. I know Dani’s generation isn’t.

8.      Finally, considering the evocative setting of The Winters, where do you think is the best place to read a book like this?

You should read The Winters at one of my favorite hotels, The Chequit Inn, on Shelter Island. You should be sitting on the deep front porch that overlooks the Peconic River, sipping sweet tea. Funny enough, in a very early draft I wrote a scene where our teary, breathless narrator, running for her life, bursts into the lobby of The Chequit Inn demanding to use their phone. They let her. They get her a glass of water and calm her down. They offer her a chair. In the end, the incredible staff at even my imaginary Chequit Inn sucked the tension right out of the scene, so I had to redirect.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

AUDIOBOOKREVIEW of Seized by Love at Seaside by Addison Cole

Narrated by: Melissa Moran
Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-03-18
Language: English
Publisher: Melissa Foster

Publisher's Summary
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Seized by Love at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times best-selling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel, Seized by Love(The Ryders). The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In Seized by Love at Seaside....

Lizzie Barber runs a successful flower shop by day and secretly hosts the Naked Baker webcast at night to help pay for her younger sister's education. To keep friends and family from finding out about her sexy secret, she's put her social life on hold until her sister's education is paid off and she can stop filming the webcast.

Blue Ryder fell hard for Lizzie when he met her a year ago, and he hasn't been able to get her off his mind since. Everything about the feisty little brunette cuts straight to his heart. Though Lizzie has turned down every invitation he's extended - Blue is not about to give up trying.

Renovating Lizzie's kitchen brings Blue further into Lizzie's life, and the oven is not the only thing heating up. One night and one powerful kiss changes everything. But when Lizzie's secret is revealed and the safe bubble she's hidden in shatters, true love may not be enough to put the pieces back together.

My Thoughts…

Oh, Melissa Moran, you are the perfect narrator for the Sweet with Heat series by Addison Cole.   The tone, the cadence, and the emotion in your voice are wonderful.    I feel the characters coming to life as I listen to a story that I already loved from reading.   It was easy to connect with the characters using Melissa Moran’s storytelling talent.    I look forward to listening to more of her narrations.  

Blue and Lizzie are meant to be together. They have been circling each other, teasing each other, and loving each other for a year yet Lizzie refuses to date Blue. Together they make sense, they even each other out, they protect each other, and they belong together. 

I have been curious about Blue since he was first introduced as a character in Seaside. When he met Lizzie he knew instantly that he wanted to know her better but he had his work cut out for him to win her over. I loved his persistence. He dealt with being put in the friend zone by Lizzie yet never gave up hope that she would come around to his way of thinking. There were a few times that I didn’t love Blue’s reaction to Lizzie’s life decisions but he managed to redeem himself, to prove that he was deserving of loving Lizzie. 

Lizzie has a secret and it is a big one. I liked that this secret was something that proved how giving, open hearted, and loving she was. While Lizzie struggled with this secret and knew that it could cause problems in her life with a boyfriend, her friends, and her family she wasn’t willing to give it up or share it just to make her life easier. Even when the secret comes out she stays strong to herself. 

Seized by Love at Seaside is part of the Sweet with Heat: Summer Series by Addison Cole. The books are fun, loving, and sweet without the language and the explicit scenes. I find myself devouring them and anxious for more from Addison Cole. I recommend picking up your copy and enjoying these wonderful and fun characters. 

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Friday, October 26, 2018

COVER REVEAL of My Little Secret by Ember Leigh

Today we have the cover reveal for the third book in The Breaking Series, MY LITTLE SECRET by Ember Leigh. Check it out and preorder your copy now!

Preorder now on Amazon


New to The Breaking Series?

BREAKING THE RULES (The Breaking Series 1)

CHANGING THE GAME (The Breaking Series 2)


About Ember Leigh

Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.

COVER REVEAL of The Illicit Revealed by Brittani Mari

Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for Brittani Mari’s THE ILLICIT REVEALED! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy on Nov 26th!

Title: The Illicit Revealed

Author: Brittani Mari

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About The Illicit Revealed:

Wesley Black was a man who was off limits to me for obvious reasons, but I moved closer to him anyways­­­–Indulged myself in his dangerous touch. Skillful hands. Sensual mouth. Then reality slapped me in the face. My past suddenly snuck its way back into my life. The lies. The truths. The regret. The memories. Sometimes you don’t really see the truth until it’s too late. I can attest to that. My name is Mia Johnson and this is not a love story.

Exclusive Excerpt:

It felt like ages before the vehicle stopped. After our short conversation, the ride had continued in silence. The man never once commented on my distress. In fact, no one saidanything. I had started to believe we would stay in the vehicle forever when I finally heard him speak again, but it wasn’t directed toward me. He was on the phone. “We’re here. Just making sure it’s okay to bring her in.” By the time the door opened, I considered refusing to get out of the car, but he had told me nothing would happen to me if I cooperated. However, him asking someone else if itwas okay to bring me in made me think I was some sort of bargaining chip. They wanted to be sure I wasn’t seen. Wanted to keep me hidden. So many negative thoughts began to swim in my head, I decided to just give in, surrendering to whatever I was walking into. I had put myself into my current situation by disobeying and skipping out on my security, but if Alek were doing this to teach me a lesson, I would never be able to forgive him. I sighed silently. In the back of my mind, I knew it wasn’t my father or him. I just prayed for those possibilities because, in the end, I knew I wouldn’t be safe wherever I was going. If it weren’t them, I had walked right into the arms of the enemy. I knew the only reason the enemy would send for me was to use me. Use me to threaten my husband…or my father, if he had really come back. What if this person were the same one who had threatened my father and killed my mother? What if it was Alek’s enemy? The one who tried to shoot him? There were so many possibilities, I gave up thinking about them. “Watch your step,” the man said, grasping my arm. I was ushered out of the vehicle. We walked a few minutes, then stopped. I heard a ding and doors slide open. An elevator? I was led inside. As the doors closed, I held my breath, claustrophobia closing in on me. The man didn’t say anything else, yet I knew we weren’t alone. I heard breathing. My heartbeat quickened as the elevator climbed. When the doors finally opened, I felt a light shove and stepped forward. The elevator doors closed and I was met with silence. Was I the only one who stepped off? I waited to be attacked or something, but that didn’t happen. What did happen left me confused, breathless…and aroused. I smelled that familiar scent–his scent. I shivered as arms wrapped around me, pulling me against a hard chest. I felt wetness develop between my legs as his hand slid up my dress, feeling for the evidence of my need, my desire. I was no longer scared or worried. I knew where I was because there were so many signs of him that would be forever etched in my brain. His smell. His touch. His dominant aura. I would never be able to forget him. As the fabric was gently removed from my face, the person turned me to face him.

Catch up with the Series:

The Illicit Revealed

About Brittani Mari:

Brittani Marí is a writer and reader at heart. The genres she enjoys reading and the storylines she loves to create range from a sexy romance novel to fast-paced suspense. Her typical day when she isn't knee deep in finishing a chapter of her latest creation or reading a book by one of her favorite authors consists of working her regular nine to five and hanging out with friends. The Illicit Affairs is one of her first stories she's decided to share with the world, and she hopes you enjoy every second of it.

Connect with Brittani:

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon author page | Goodreads | Twitter

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY for He Loves You Not by Tara Brown

He Loves You Not Excerpt

I dialed my brother and hid in an alcove.

“Lacey?” He answered like he was confused.

“Yeah,” I whispered, and glanced around. “I need advice.”

“Okay.” His tone still seemed skeptical.

“What if I created a company that fidelity-tested guys, offering this as a service for a fee? Is that morally wrong?”

“Fidelity-testing service? Who would honestly pay someone—never mind. Forget I even asked that. We both know who would pay for something so stupid. Is this hypothetical?” He laughed hopefully.

“No,” I whispered, and scanned the hall again. “What would I need?”

“Honestly? I don’t know. I’d need a minute to think about it.”

“You have a minute.”

“Okay. Uhhhhh. A website that couldn’t be hacked. A system of being paid that couldn’t be traced. A couple of girls who could easily blend in and not be recognized if they wore simple disguises. A way of recording every interaction as proof. An email account that’s linked to the website that could send the recordings of the guy being disloyal.”

“Have you given something like this much thought before?” I asked quietly, a little worried.

“Yeah, this is totally what I spend all my free time thinking about,” he said sarcastically. “It’s simple logic, moron.”

“Can you help me make this?” I closed my eyes for a second and really contemplated if this was a good idea.

“Probably. You would make your entire year of tuition and probably mine in the next two months of summer. I would totally be down for this.” He was too eager. “I legit have nothing better to do. But I have one condition.”


“Hennie. You give me your blessing to ask her out. I will knock that website outta the park.”

“Fine,” I hissed, and closed my eyes and forced myself into a momentary chant of do whatever makes him happy before I continued with the regular worries. “Are we going to burn in hell for manipulating people like this?” Second-guessing was already starting.

“No. Dude. If girls are willing to pay you for this, that’s their choice, and you should take the money. And it’s the guy’s choice whether or not he acts like a dick. Not your problem. This is like being a PI for love. That’s what you should call it. PI for Love.”

“I was thinking Fidelity Tester,” I whispered, and checked the hall again.

“That sounds stupid.”

“You’re stupid.” We automatically slipped back into our brother-sister banter.

“Love Tester,” he offered, ignoring the name-calling game.

“Man Tester.”

“Dear God. Don’t you claim to work at a marketing firm?”

“Shut up. Test Dummy.” I laughed, thinking how insanely stupid this idea might be and how dumb I sounded even contemplating it.

“Winner!” He smiled. I could hear it in his tone. “Test Dummy it is. I’ll set up the email account now: The address is available; no surprise there. I guess there isn’t a lineup of other creeps putting money on the name.”

“Okay.” I inhaled sharply. “I’ll go advertise it where all the girls look, kinda random and casual, like it’s on the DL.” I took a second deep breath. “Thanks.”

“No, no. Thank you for the chance to contribute my talents on such a positive, healthy, world-benefitting project, with the side perk being you forced to accept my adoration of Hennie. First order of business, stop the players; next up, save the whales. I’ll get started now.”


About the Book

Title: He Loves You Not
Author: Tara Brown
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Skyscape


Among her superrich friends, Lacey Winters never minded being the “poor one.” That is, until her tuition money and big dreams vanish overnight. Now Lacey has a plan to make some extra cash—a devilishly brilliant plan. For a fee, she’ll test your boyfriend to find out if he’s faithful or a cheating jerk. Her next target: a slick and sexy trust-fund playboy. Unfortunately for Lacey, his charms aren’t just legend. And before she knows it, she’s under his spell.
It was bad enough that Jordan Somersby’s father forced a spoiled “society princess” on him. Then Jordan had to go and find his dream girl—the beautiful, fun, and down-to-earth Lacey. And he’ll do anything to prove he’s sincere. But pretty soon it’ll be Lacey’s turn to prove that this is not just a game.
Because, when it comes to mixing love and deception, nothing is what it seems. And Lacey and Jordan are about to face the ultimate test.

My Thoughts…

A college girl who is not from the rich side of the tracks is best friends with the rich girl from the rich side of the tracks.   When times get rough for her she chooses to make her own way rather than ask for help from those who have the means to help her.   For Lacey this is a matter of pride.   She didn’t want to be talked about, be that girl who only uses her friends for what they can offer her, and she didn’t want to be looked down on.   I respected that.   I loved that she took a very difficult route, keeping her life private, and worked to be self-reliant.   

Tara Brown wrote a book that could have gone many ways.   The characters could have been selfish, conceited, and no fun yet she made them open to accepting those not of the same stature of them, welcoming to others, and always looking for a good time even though most of them had jobs.    The majority of the characters were well off but instead of that being a bad thing they came together to support Lacey, support her family, and support their community.   

The relationship of Jordan and Lacey was perfect.   They came together in a time when they both had a lot going on and tried to keep their personal lives separate from each other.    When the time came for them to be honest with each other they listened, accepted, and made the amends with each other all the while opening their hearts and falling in love.     I loved that while they came from two different worlds they opened their hearts and understood that their two worlds could come together and happiness could be found.  

Author Biography

The international bestselling author of Roommates and the Puck Buddies series, Tara Brown writes in a variety of genres. In addition to her comedic Single Lady Spy series, she has also published popular contemporary and paranormal romances, science fiction, thrillers, and romantic comedies. She especially enjoys writing dark and moody tales, often focusing on strong female characters who are more inclined to vanquish evil than perpetrate it. She shares her home with her husband, two daughters, two cats, an Irish wolfhound, and a Maremma Sheepdog. Find out more about Tara by visiting

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