My Review of The Master by Kresley Cole


The Master Cover

Book 2 of The Game Maker Series

Publisher: Gallery Books a Division of Simon and Schuster Inc.(February 17, 2015)

Blurb:

A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sultry new Game Maker novel.

Everyone fears the Master…

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.  If pleasure is a game, play to win.
After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past–to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.

Buy Link:

Amazon

Add to Goodreads:

Goodreads

My Review:

This was one of those books that you pick up and just cannot put it down until you are done.  As such I was very glad I started it in the morning.

Our heroine Cat, is on the run from her murderous husband and needs money to leave this town.

Her employer/friend Ivanna a high priced escort calls her to take a job for her after she has a reaction to Botox.  It’s a lot of money, so after much consideration, she decides to do it, just this once.

Maksimilian Sevastyan is a billionaire used to getting what he wants when he wants it.  He is not pleased when he opens the door to find Cat who is the exact opposite type in looks and, as he soon finds out, disposition.

As she is about to leave Maksim calls her back, and what ensues is some major negotiations, followed by a scene that starts of as steamy and ends up a major fireball.

Their next encounter becomes one of broken trust on both their sides and Cat ends up Maksim’s virtual prisoner.  I can’t say more about that cause it’s more fun to read it.  Cat ends up with him for Christmas Eve, and since there is a magnificent kitchen in the suite she decided to cook dinner for Maksim and his security staff.

This is one of my favorite scenes.

‘I fried bacon, peeled sweet potatoes, and simmered brown sugar with anise seeds.  I toasted almonds.  I rolled dough and cut circles for crab croquetas.  I chopped mint for mojitos.  The entire floor smelled incredible.

I was singing “Fuentecilla Que Corres” as I put a spiced prik roast into the oven.

“What’s this?” Sevastyan asked, making me jump.

I almost dropped the roast, one of three I was cooking.  “A Cuban Christmas dinner.”  He’d returned!

“What’s on the menu?”

Lechón asadas, pork roasts drenched in mojolangostinos con salsa rosa, prawns with pink sauce;  arroz congri, beans and rice;  tostones, fried sweet plantains;  and crab croquetas.  For dessert, I’m making buñuelas, fried sweet dough;  turrón de Navidad, nougat almond candies;  and boniatillo, sweet potato pudding.”

He smirked.  ” So now you’ll cook to get back into my good graces?”

I pressed my fingers to my chest.  “I’m sorry;  did you think any of this was for you?”

“You’re preparing enough for an army.”

Tengo mucha hambre. Es todo para mi.”

“You’re very hungry? And it’s all for you?”

While he was picking up Spanish at lightnng speed, the only Russian I knew was blyad’, prostitutka, dushen’ka, and kotyonok.  “All for me.  You couldn’t handle my food.  Dessert alone would make you have an orgasm espontánea.”  To taunt him, I sampled a flaky croqueta I’d just fried up.

Before I could stop him, he’d snagged one, taking a bite.  His lids went heavy, and he chewed slowly.  “I’ll expect dinner at seven.  Do not be late.” Croqueta in hand, he turned to go.

Ordering me?  “Pendejo!”  I tossed a handful of toasted almonds at the back of his head.

He paused , then continued on.’

The snark from Cat and Maksim’s responses are well shall we say “interesting”.   With both their histories, I kept waiting for that “something” to go wrong, on edge all the time, turning page after flaming, smoking, sizzling page.

This book is so darn hot I had to stop reading to cool off several times.

Five Contented Purrs for this Book!

I cannot wait for the next Book in this series.

“The Professional”

Is the first book in this series and if you haven’t read it… I haven’t but guess what I just bought?
Here’s the linky:
Amazon

About the Author:

Kresley Cole Author Pic

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers Series, and five award-winning historical romances. A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Her IAD books have been translated into nineteen foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the US and abroad.

Connect with Kresley Cole:

Facebook | Website | Twitter

Book Blast with Giveaway for Dance of the Firefly by Kathy Bosman


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The Dance of the Firefly

Print Length: 166 pages
Publisher: Decadent Publishing (February 13, 2015)

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Synopsis

Mix together a beautiful ballerina and ballet teacher, a sexy single dad, and a precocious-yet-sweet daughter, and emotions run high. Add racial and cultural differences, work contracts coming to an end, and hurts and memories from the past and sparks fly.

Rowena loves to dance but has ended up teaching ballet instead. When she helps out Cameron’s difficult daughter, a bond develops between the two dancers. Cameron makes Rowena uncomfortable because he stirs up new, unwanted feelings which make no sense when he intends to leave Zambia soon when his contract ends.

Cameron can’t resist sanguine live-wire Rowena who makes his daughter smile for the first time in years. But can he risk his heart again when memories of his late wife come back to haunt him? And Rowena has a lot more at stake in giving her all.

Buy links

Amazon | iBooks | Decadent Publishing

Book Trailer

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About the author

Here’s a little bit about me for those who may be curious. I’ve been writing for about ten years now. I started off writing children’s books. Then my husband suggested that I try an adult novel. I enjoyed writing it so much, and it turned out to be a romance. That made me realise that I could bring my love of romance into my writing. My writing has evolved over the years from partial romance, to inspirational romance, historicals (which didn’t work at all!) to sweet, contemporary romance.

I’ve also learnt that writing isn’t just about writing – that so much thought goes into it, there’s also the editing process which is actually even more work than the writing process, and lastly, once the book is out, there’s promoting of your book. But I love it!

Besides writing, I keep myself busy by homeschooling my three children (okay one is a teenager), tackling piles of laundry and dishes, making all sorts of food from scratch, and helping out with raising funds for the local Cubs and Scouts. Reading and watching romantic movies help me unwind.

The best inspiration for my writing has been the ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa) Group. What a fantastic group of writers they are who have helped me get to where I am now.

Follow Kathy Bosman

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Blog Tour – Hurricanes and Handcuffs By Jodi Redford


 

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Hurricanes and Handcuffs by Jodi Redford
Part of the Red Hot Cajun Nights multi-author collection
Blog Tour Feb. 23rd-27th

Synopsis:

Gabrielle Scott is fed up with helping her playboy boss seduce and woo his countless bimbettes courtesy of her culinary masterpieces. Yeah, the pay is good, and you can’t beat the luxurious digs she’s treated to as his resident personal chef. But she can’t afford the frustration of living under the same roof with the one man who drives her crazy in every possible way. The damnable truth? She’s in love with the irredeemable bastard, and the only way she’ll
get over him is to get naked under him. The plan? Attend Jax’s annual Mardi Gras ball incognito and entice him into a hot night of sin—right before handing in her resignation.

Jaxon Noble always gets what he wants. Especially when it comes to the opposite sex. So when Gabbi shows up at his party in an eye-popping costume and outrageously flirts with him it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll finally be his. About damn time the stubborn woman came to her senses. He’s more than happy to go along with her game, and the combustible heat they generate together proves it was well worth the wait to have her. But when morning comes and Gabrielle calmly announces she’s quitting, Jax is faced with the sobering fact that perhaps money can’t buy everything. Or more to the point—the only person who’s ever meant anything to him.

For someone who’s used to winning at all costs, losing Gabbi isn’t an option. And Jax will pull out every sweet and sexy trick to convince her to take a chance on a forever with him. Even if it means handcuffing her to his bed.

Warning: This book contains a sassy chef, one determined bad boy billionaire, Fur-lined handcuffs and inappropriate consumption of beignets, several sinful drizzles of honey, and enough sizzling chemistry to set off the smoke alarms.

Buy Link: 
Amazon

I was given a copy of this book by the Author/Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

My Review:

Gabrielle and Jaxson grew up together, sort of.  He the son of wealthy parents, her mother their employee.  As children they played together, and Gabrielle fell in love with him way back then.

Now all grown up Gabbi is his personal chef and as such has come to realize that he will never notice her the way she wants him to.  the way she does him.

Jax like most men tends to ignore what is in front of them, in spite of or because of their actual feelings.

Now with an impromptu Mardi Gras party to prepare the menu for, Gabbi plots her exit from his life.  Hopefully freeing herself to find real love.

One of my favorite passages is during the Mardi Gras party after Jax’s cousin Olivia leaves him with her boyfriend Cal to get some water.

Jax turned his head to see what held Cal’s rapt attention, and his gaze collided with the exquisite backside of the blonde woman standing several feet away from them.  The majority of her back was bare, revealing the delicate curve of her spine and a good portion of her tailbone.  Vibrant teal and aquamarine feathers formed a short, snug skirt that hugged her hips and ass.  He followed the luscious length of her legs to the strappy heels and back up again, that mouthwatering posterior like a magnetic tractor beam reeling him in.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this is a fun foodie read.  There is lots of laughter (well I thought it was funny) and some tears and well hot, steamy panty melting sex.

This was a quick, enjoyable read.  Thank you, Jodi!

Now I have to find the rest of Authors’ books for this series.

I give this book Five Contented Purrs.

 

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 Excerpt:

Now that she was alone with Jax the air seemed super charged with an overwhelming awareness that zinged between them. Unable to resist, she peered up at him and caught him staring at her mouth. Her lips automatically tingled at the phantom memory of their kiss. Her pulse revving, she smoothed a hand over her tummy to steady her nerves. His pupils nearly overtaking his irises, Jax racked the motion of her fingers. Certain she was about to jump out of her
skin, she cleared her throat. “What do you think of my costume?”

“You have every man in this room dying to take it off you.”

His response was so unexpected it took her a moment to find her tongue. Here he’d provided the perfect opening to her seduction and she’d almost let it slip between her fingers. Channeling her nonexistent inner vixen, she batted her eyelashes. “Including you?” It didn’t come out as sexy as she’d hoped, and she winced.

His mouth quirked at one corner. “No, I’m completely immune to your charms.”

He was joking, right? Fairly positive that he was, she tried for a bolder approach and tiptoed her fingers up along the buttons of his starched shirt. “How about now?”

A chuckle rumbled from him. “Gabbi, what are you doing?”

Good question. God, did she really suck at flirting? Granted, her skills were pathetically rusty. Assuming they existed in the first place. Frustration welling inside her, she settled her palm against his chest. That’s when she felt the rapid pace of his heartbeat. She lifted her gaze to his, and sucked in a breath at the smoldering heat in his eyes. Coyness abandoning her, she blurted the primary thought tumbling around in her brain. “I want you to kiss me
again. Desperately.”

His gaze darkened. Sliding his hand to her elbow, he steered her toward the hallway. Her body buzzing with heady anticipation, she barely registered the crush of people he led her through as they made their way to the kitchen. Although the room was empty he didn’t stop until they reached the back stairway.
He pressed her up against the door, slamming it shut with her weight. The next instant his mouth devoured hers in a kiss that left her head spinning. Gasping, she tunneled her fingers through his silky hair, holding on for dear life.

She wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the kiss was a thousand degrees hotter than the one last night. Apparently sobriety made all the difference. Which was rather ironic, considering how the drugging intoxication of Jax’s kisses was far more potent than any alcohol in existence. He slicked his tongue over hers, coaxing a whimper from her. Splaying his palms on her ass, he squeezed each cheek and hiked her tighter to him. She went willingly, desperate
mewls pouring from her as she sucked on his tongue.

He tore his mouth from hers, his breaths ragged. “I’m crushing your feathers.”

It took her a second to realize that wasn’t some kinky dirty talk she wasn’t hip to. She glanced down at the scooped neckline of her costume and noticed a couple of feathers with the tips broken off. Wise decision not to go with the rental option.

Jax shoved her mask up and stroked her cheek. “Where is this headed, Gabbi?”

She knew he was asking in the most basic of terms. This wasn’t an inquiry beyond the next twenty-four hours. Her heart squeezed at that sad fact, but now that she’d set the wheels in motion there was no way she’d step on the brake.

“Hopefully your bed. Or mine.” She backed up her bold statement by sliding her hand to his fly. The impressive bulge she discovered tenting his tuxedo pants prompted a greedy ache deep in her core. She fondled him shamelessly, her pussy clenching as he surged and thickened in her grasp.

He groaned and shackled her wrist between his fingers, reluctantly easing her off him. “I’ll never get through the rest of the party if you keep doing that.”

“We could have a quickie.”

“Not a fucking chance. I want you naked, those gorgeous tits quivering and your nipples available for my feasting when I ease inside you the first time.”

Well how could she argue with that? She licked her lips. “Then I can have you after the party?”

A slow smile tipped his mouth. “Oh, you’ll get all of me. Maybe more than you can handle.”

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Author Bio:

At the ripe age of seven, Jodi Redford penned her first epic, complete with stick figure illustrations. Sadly, her drawing skills haven’t improved much, but her love of fantasy worlds never went away. These days she writes about fairies, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, only with considerably more heat.

She has won numerous contests, including The Golden Pen and Launching a Star.

When not writing or working the day job, she enjoys gardening and way too many reality television shows.

Author links:
Website | Blog | Group Blog | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Blast Tour with Giveaway for Kali Willows’ Double Dragons


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Double Dragon’s Blood

Print Length: 222 pages

  • Publisher: Decadent Publishing (February 10, 2015)

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Synopsis

Hidden within the pages of this anthology, are the impassioned journeys of four separate, erotic, urban fantasies. All are connected by the mystifying ancestry of descendants of the dragon. Two star-crossed lovers are torn apart after a single night of passion ends in tragedy, a three-way tryst that becomes a life or death ordeal, a jilted love triangle in an exotic land, a centuries old curse and ancient lineage that haunts a blood line for generations to come.

The Double Dragon’s Blood Series comes jam packed with tantalizing sex, riveting action and heart warming romance. Inspired by continuous requests of fans, Kali Willows has brought together her best selling stories of her delicious dragon twins and other sensational characters in one complete collection for you to indulge in. With the mysterious match making skills of Madame Evangeline and her 1Night Stand service, explore how it all began and unravelled for our dragon heroes and heroines.

Dragon’s Bond

In 1952, it’s not proper for a woman to chase after a man, but Lien Long is no ordinary woman. Shattered by his abandonment after their single night of passion ends in tragedy, she travels from a life of sexual servitude in Shanghai to San Francisco to chase her career, her dreams, and her one true love. Armed with new knowledge of her dark lineage and at the encouragement of a colleague, she enlists the help of Madame Eve to arrange a 1Night Stand, in hopes to find her way into the arms of her soul mate once more.

Cursed with an ancient legacy he knew nothing about, Shen Li flees to San Francisco after the devastating death of his twin brother. Tormented by the guilt and shame of his indulgence in lust and his longing he cannot diminish for his beloved, he accepts the advice of his mentor and boss, to contact the 1Night Stand services. He seeks an escape of passion to release his sins of the past and move on with his life. What awaits Shen is eye-opening truth about the life he had forsaken. Will he find the night of fiery paradise he hopes for?

Double Dragon Seduction

Gwen Trembley is disturbed by the upcoming wedding of her reprehensible ex, and coping with her emerging fiery talent. Gwen seeks the services of 1NS for a night where new carnal knowledge will revive her damaged soul. Madame Eve has the perfect arrangements, but perhaps twice what she bargained for.

Twin brothers Tatsu and Yong Li, are in desperate need of a unique woman who can accept them as inseparable. They carry not one, but two secrets. These exotic brothers can’t be with just any woman, and if Gwen is willing to try, she will face the most passionate, lust-filled night of her life, but will she survive? Will they? 1NS finds a match they never expected possible.

Dragon Temptation

Cindy Dunham has become sexually emaciated, after a long dry spell and no prospect of romance in her near future. With her best friend’s upcoming wedding, loneliness is taking the lead, and she is starving for erotic rhapsody. The prospect of a blind date for the nuptials is embarrassing, but a necessary evil. The match Madame Evangeline finds for her leaves her reeling with conflict and jealousy. Will she ever get her carnal hunger gratified?

Yong Li, is no longer satisfied being the third wheel in his brother’s love life. Desperate to branch out and have an experience all his own, he is fraught with his ancient affliction that runs interference with the prospect of any normal relationship. Having had a life altering 1Night Stand before, he seeks the help of his old friend, Madame Eve to find a new mate just for him.

Dragon’s Breath

Eternal suffering is the fate dealt to Roark Blackwell. A fierce protector under a curse, he longs for a woman can never have. By day, a hideous stone creature, and by night, a flesh and blood immortal, starving for the touch of a single woman. After centuries of torment, he takes his destiny into his own hands and seeks the help of Madame Evangeline. For a single night, he wants to feed his carnal cravings, but what happens when morning comes?

Living dangerously comes second nature to Kaida Lee. Struggling with her dark sexual appetite, her fiery temper and her ancient lineage makes finding an ideal match impossible. A descendent of the dragon, she has a genetic burden that no mere mortal could withstand. Having two cousins succeed in romance with the aid of their friend Madame Eve, she seeks satisfaction through the services of 1Night Stand.

Buy Links
Decadent Publishing | iBooks | Amazon | Kobo | Google Play

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About the author

Her goal in life? She has many, but her writing goal is creating emotional, compelling stories and characters you can’t help but love, hate and cheer for.

A good cup of tea with the crackling fire gets her creative juices flowing in the wee hours of the night, when the house is quiet
and she can type away to her heart’s desire.


Follow Kali at any of these links
Facebook | Twitter | Website 

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Book Blast with Giveaway for Beautiful Nightmare by Bella Juarez


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Beautiful Nightmare

Knights of Red Horse book 2

Print Length: 72 pages

Publisher: Decadent Publishing (February 11, 2015)

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Synopsis

Aaron Rosencrantz’s architectural firm is thriving—thanks to his brilliant and tough-as-nails COO, Natasha Rodriguez. But every day, they deny the powerful attraction raging between them. Corporate meetings and contracts rule their lives—not to mention a string of promises and commitments made to family. However, all bets are off when he catches a sexy glimpse of her desire for him. His hopes soar…only to be dashed by a horrible misunderstanding. So when mysterious and renowned Madame Eve sets up these two powerful personalities to come together at the Las Vegas Carnivore Club, which one will bend?

Where to buy

Decadent Publishing | Amazon | ibooks

About the author

Bella Juarez is originally from San Antonio, Texas and now lives and writes on a small ranch in South Central Texas. She draws inspiration from the real life heroes and heroines of the United States military and her many experiences in the twelve years she worked within that world as well as from her life in the civilian world. Her love of thrill and adventure are reflected in her stories. When she’s not writing, Bella runs a business and is active in the business community. She also runs half-marathons and loves to be in the kitchen whipping up something to feed her hungry boys.

Follow Bella

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My Review of Before I Fall – A New Series Coming March 3 from Jessica Scott


Before I Fall Cover

Falling Series – Book 1

Author/Publisher: Jessica Scott (March 3, 2015)

BLURB:

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah – a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.

Buy Links:
iBooks | Amazon | Kobo | B&N

This book was a gift from the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

MY REVIEW:

When Jessica Scott writes about the military you never know what angle she is going to look from.  In this one, she hits home on problems faced by our veterans and not from their point of view.

Beth Lamont takes care of her father and goes to school.  Her degree in business will get her a job.  One with the benefits she needs to finally get her father the care he needs.

Noah is back from the war and in school.  He feels like a fish out of water but that isn’t his only problem. His problems require he face them, before they can be fixed.

When Beth’s professor offers her a tutoring job on top of being her TA, she jumps cautiously.  The student is ex-military and she would really like to avoid anything and anyone remotely involved with that. But money is tight and she decides it can’t hurt to meet with the guy.

There is an attraction that cannot be denied between Noah and Beth.  The sizzle starts at first look and builds into an inferno.

Here is one of my favorite passages from their first lunch together:

“So your Dad, why hasn’t he been seen at the VA?”
She leans back as the waiter brings us chips and salsa and our drinks. She dips a chip and takes a bite. She’s stalling, but I’m not sure why.

“We should try to keep this conversation light and enjoyable. If you get me started on the VA, I may start using creative profanity.”

I lean a little closer so I can whisper in her ear. I’m tempted to bite her earlobe but I’m trying to behave. My  restraint is damn near superhuman “I’m dying to hear what you consider creative profanity. I can’t picture you swearing.”

“The VA is one of the few institutions that gets my blood pressure up that high.”

“Why?” I haven’t been seen by the VA yet. I’m still on Tricare for a few more weeks and then I’m taking advantage of the student insurance. I’ve heard enough horror stories about the VA that make me skeptical at best. I won’t be able to avoid it forever, especially not with everything that happened to me during the war. but I’m content to avoid it for now.

Beth sips her water then takes a deep breath. “They cancel more appointments than they keep, and he’s been scheduled for surgery five times in the last year. Because he’s not 100% disabled, he doesn’t have full coverage at local hospitals. And because of his rating, his back problems are treated as elective as opposed to medically necessary.” She takes a deep breath. Her voice is laced with tension. “It’s complicated.”

“Shit, I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.” She snags another chip. “So what’s your story? You’re a junior?”

“I took a lot of courses after work when I was down at Bragg. School accepted most of my transfer credits. I get to use my GI Bill to finish up my BA and then I’m applying to grad school.”

“My dad gave me his GI Bill,” she says after a moment. “He’s the reason I can even begin to afford to go here.”

There’s something else there, beneath her words but I don’t push her on it. “I’m glad I went to school while I was active.”

“How did you have time? If you got promoted so quickly you had to be working a lot.”

“I was, but I carved out time. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up so I joined the army.” “You joined the army on a whim during war?” Her words are laced with sarcasm.

I laugh and almost choke on a chip. How’s that for romantic? Smooth, Noah, real smooth. “When you put it that way, it does sound kind of foolish,” I say when I’m done hacking up a lung.

Unfortunately there are secrets and lies on both sides of this equation and the question becomes are they strong enough, have enough faith to make it through.

Jessica tells this story of pain, heartbreak and hope with such emotion I felt I was in the story.  I cried with and for Beth, her father and Noah.  My anger at the VA is not just because it’s in the book but because it is a real issue and happens every day to our veterans and their families.  The frustration is real.

I loved this book and give it Five Contented Purrs!

I am looking forward to the next installment in this new series!

 
About Jessica
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USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.She’s also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Learn more at Jessica’s Author Page:
Jessica’s Author Page

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Join Jessica’s newsletter to stay up to date on latest releases and special promotions (and the occasional hamster update).
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Sneak Peak Review!! If You Can’t Stand The Heat by Taryn Kincaid


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IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT
By Taryn Kincaid

 A hot and spicy, sizzling contemporary foodie romance from Fated Desires Publishing’s new “Give Me a Taste” special line, releasing 2/24/15. Available for pre-order now!

This book was a gift from the Author/Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 BLURB:

 Derek Dunne is a Cordon Bleu-trained food critic for the prestigious New York Monitor, whose scathing review of a popular Italian bistro has driven away all but the most loyal neighborhood patrons.

Lucrezia Serafina DiCicco is a clumsy business school drop-out, working as a chef and scrambling to keep her family’s restaurant afloat, after her father develops diabetes and is banned from his kitchen for his own good.

Now, with The Monitor folding, Derek is searching for his next career path and longing to get back to his first love—cooking—while Lu is desperate for an influx of cash to save the struggling restaurant…even as her father puts his foot down about non-family employees.

Derek and Lu embark on a marriage of inconvenience to save the restaurant. But can Lu ever really trust the man who nearly destroyed her family, once noted her initials spelled “LSD,” and her food was like a “bad trip?”

Or will it be their hearts on the chopping block?

MY REVIEW:

The print version of the NY Daily Monitor is done. TV, Radio, and internet is their future, but not Derek Dunne’s.  The top food/restaurant critic has other ideas and they don’t include critiquing anything.  He’d trained as a chef, but life took him down this road. Now it’s his time to cook and create his own specialties. The question is where.

After a scathing review by Derek Dunne, Il Sapore dell’Amore is going under.  Lu DiCicco took the restaurant over from her father because the stress of running both kitchen and business end of the restaurant is detrimental to his health.  Lu has no culinary training and now is struggling to keep the restaurant afloat.

The latest crisis avoided by her cousin and employee, Glory who apparently has a thing going with the owner of La Dolce Vita, their dessert supplier. In spite of Lu’s attempts to fire her, Glo insists that both she and Gino (Lu’s brother) will work until things are right again. That’s what family does.

One of my favorite scenes is the excerpt and more here’s a bit more.

“Oh. Sorry.” He stuck out a hand. “Derek Dunne.”

Her jaw dropped on a shriek of horror that could have been heard in Queens. She glared at his palm as if he’d suggested she nibble rat poison from it.

“Get out!” she barked. “Get the hell out of my restaurant and don’t come back. Ever.” Her breath hissed between her teeth, but the wretched reviewer stood his ground. Or rather, sat his bar stool. “Don’t make me call the cops, buster.”

“Then have a drink with me.”

“I’d rather jump from an airplane without a parachute,” she snapped. “Now. Get. The. Hell. Out.” She snatched his drink off the bar—an icy martini, of course—and tossed what remained in his face, olive and all. To his credit, or nerves of steel, he barely flinched. Alcohol dripped from his classic nose and well-defined jaw down his neck, dampening his collar, and the olive skittered the length of the bar. She took a swift glance around the restaurant to see if anyone else had noted her uncharacteristic abuse of customer. Yeah. Right. Not when the despicable Derek Dunne had ensured a near-empty house.

He swiped at his face and throat with a cocktail napkin. “Maybe I deserved that.” He held up a hand, as if to ward off another blow. “Maybe I didn’t. The food wasn’t exactly stellar that night. Or the night I returned to see if the first service was a fluke. Hasn’t been much better this week, either.”

“Reminding me of your acid review isn’t going to help your cause—whatever the hell that might be. And I still want you out of my restaurant.”

Unbeknownst to her or the staff, Derek has come back to eat several times since his review.  Most recently the last three nights.  When he asks to see Lu he gets a lot more than he bargained for and so does she.  *Fans self* (reason in the excerpt.)

Derek proposes a solution to her problem, he would be her Chef.  Which raises another more critical problem, her father doesn’t allow anyone but family in the kitchen.

Can Lu marry Derek to save the restaurant, does she want to?

Will Derek marry Lu to get the career he wants, a chef but none of the administrative duties of owning the restaurant.

And then there is the attraction they have for each other, where’s that heading?

The interaction between these two is funny, frustrating and steamy. I loved the internal battles going on in each of them.

When you top all this off with a traditional Italian father and family, fireworks or clear sailing, you pick. <evil grin>

This is another must read from Taryn Kincaid! Bravo!

I give this book five contented purrs!

I am really looking forward to more of this Give Me A Taste series from Fated Desires Publishing!

What are you waiting for go buy it!!! Links are below.

EXCERPT:

She brushed her hands on her apron and straightened her shoulders as she strode toward the bar. Not in the mood. So not in the mood. As if the hunky stranger had come here looking for a hook-up, rather than to send back his too-salty pasta fagiole or rubbery calamari or register some other grievance.

She looked a fright besides. The moon might resemble a pizza pie but amore did not live anywhere in the restaurant anymore, except in its name. As that bastard Derek Dunne had pointed out in his review. Vicious…but truthful, she had to admit.

As she approached the customer, she positioned herself with her back to the mirror over the bar, so she didn’t have to gaze at her sorry reflection. At least no one else was at the bar to gawk at her frazzled condition.

The man swirled a pool of condensation on the burled wood with his index finger. Strong hands. No rings, she noted. Up close and personal, his looks were even more devastating, the essence of hearty masculinity radiating raw, contained power, his body taut with muscles beneath a finely-tailored suit that stretched across broad shoulders, his blue eyes intense enough to put her in a near trance. She gazed at his long, blunt fingers playing restlessly on the bar and imagined him sliding them across her heated flesh. Making her wet. Thrusting inside her. His thumb stroking her clit until it swelled, the pleasure so unbearable he had her writhing with passion, screaming for release.

Holy cannoli! What the heck was wrong with her? Was she that desperate? Yeah, probably. And yeah, he looked that good. Good enough to eat. With or without whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Oh, yeah. That image helped cool down her roaring libido. Not.

Suppressing a shiver, she cleared her throat. “I’m Lu DiCicco. You

wanted to see me?

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AUTHOR BIO:

Taryn Kincaid is a former award-winning reporter and columnist, covering everything from fires and homicides, to corrupt politicians and hero dogs. Nowadays, she haunts courthouses (in the least paranormal way).

She is the author of the Sleepy Hollow series–LIGHTNING, THUNDER, FROST, HEAT WAVE and IN FROM THE COLD — sexy paranormal romances for Decadent Publishing’s popular 1Night Stand series; BLIZZARD, a short erotic romance for Decadent’s The Edge line; HEALING HEARTS, a Regency romance from Carina Press, and SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, an erotic paranormal romance from The Wild Rose Press.

Books 1-4 of her Sleepy Hollow series, plus Blizzard, have been compiled in the SLEEPY HOLLOW edition, available in paperback and digital formats. Just released: WOLF’S SONG, a sexy paranormal romance for Decadent Publishing’s new Black Hills Wolves shifter line. Coming soon, RAIN, a Beyond Fairytales story for Decadent; and HER CAPTAIN, a Tempting Signs series story for Fated Desires.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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