Welcome to The Romance Reviews Fall Into Romance HOP! You won’t want to miss the fabulous prizes, wonderful authors and bloggers, and all the great books to add to your TBR list! Click on the graphic to be taken to the other hop participants, and be sure to scroll to the bottom of our page and enter for two free downloads!
REVIEW: Waking Up Gray, by R. E. Bradshaw
All I remember is her magical, rich, descriptive words transporting me back to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where I spent not enough time during my North Carolina college years. I was hooked, and I purchased Waking Up Gray and devoured it.
“Rich” is the word that keeps popping up – not only for the landscape in which her fiction immerses the reader, but for the texture and complexity of the characters and their relationships. For me, this is lesbian romantic fiction at its best: Real, ordinary people, living out their lives, finding true love, struggling (for some) with sexual identity issues, and claiming their passions.
I’ve followed her on Facebook and dropped in on her blog occasionally since then, so I’ve come to have some sense of how her history feeds her marvelous stories. A product of those Outer Banks, she describes herself as a reckless tomboy in her childhood, getting into endless scrapes, both with and without her brother. I’d love to know how much of Gray’s character is unadulterated Decky – lots, I’m guessing, an electrifying counterpoint to the more sedate and scholarly Lizbeth, who’s never kissed a girl.
The romance between Gray and Lizbeth unfolds with just the right doses of madly-falling-in-love and heartbreaking misunderstandings, and is punctuated by the dangers of a tropical storm bearing down, as they so often do, on the Outer Banks. This review wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out for Decky’s wry sense of humor, complete with impeccable timing and keen observation skills. Laugh-out-loud moments were too numerous to count, which is also true for her blog and Facebook posts.
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Of course, I loved Waking Up Gray for some of the same reasons I love co-writing romance about lesbian and bisexual heroines with my husband under our pen name. Our next polyamory romance, The Reunion, will release on September 15 and will be free at Amazon for the first five days, September 15-19.
Dark and brooding, Adam Granger was always the bad boy out of reach—but now he’s in Sarah Atkinson’s bed, the morning after their twentieth high school reunion. When Adam beats a retreat to his Pacific Palisades estate, former good girl Sarah throws caution to the wind and pursues him.
Petite copper-skinned Maria Ramirez greets Sarah at Adam’s front door. The former exotic dancer doesn’t challenge Sarah’s assumption she’s the maid—how long will it take the dark-haired beauty to figure out Maria is Adam’s live-in lover? Better yet, how long before Maria can entice her into their bed?
Determined not to rock his hard-won lifestyle, Adam resolves to push Sarah past her sexual limits so she’ll leave. When she stays, he watches helplessly as the two women fall in love with each other. Will they shut him out? And, if they let him in, what must he sacrifice?
One lucky reader will win a free download of Waking Up Gray, plus one download of their choice from any single-author title on our book list.
How to enter? Just leave a comment answering this question: What do you like best about your favorite author? Use the Rafflecopter link below; extra (optional) entries for liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, and tweeting about the giveaway. We’ll have Rafflecopter pull a winner September 22.
Today we’re excited to welcome Kacey Hammell, on tour for Book One of her Revved and Ready series, ’69 Mustang. As a former owner of a baby blue ’65 Mustang, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us!
An Author Rarely Does It Alone …
I’m not perfect, and know how vital having an amazing circle of friends & professionals around me with each new story, and I’m never alone. There is usually a team behind the writer that supports, teaches and assists them that readers don’t always see. And I have a group of them who are irreplaceable.
Plus, I believe in giving thanks where it’s due. These people were instrumental in the release of ’69 Mustang…
Sandra Sookoo – editor & teacher
Joanne Kenrick – supportive, CP, and helped the story evolve into a series.
PJ Friel – Cover artist extraordinaire.
And of course my hubby who laughed and shook his head when I told him my obsession over Mustangs has inspired the story/series.
My daughter & her BFF who immediately squee’d – loud and high-pitched I have to say – then printed out the cover and slapped it on their bedroom walls.
And thanks to Lucy Felthouse, Owner of Writer Marketing Services for putting another book tour together for me. She’s awesome and so supportive of authors.
By Kacey Hammell
Book 1: Revved and Ready Series
Contemporary Erotic Romance
Word Count: 4,415 Short Story
Only $0.99 cents!!!
Revved and Ready for passion, heat sizzles between two friends…
For Hayley Fitzgibbon, the heat wave blanketing her small town is nothing compared to the inferno inside her whenever she looks at her best friend, Rory. On the night of his parents’ anniversary party, she no longer resists her burning desire and makes it known how much she wants him. Secluded under a willow tree, down a lover’s lane, she’s revved and ready to claim her man on the top of his ’69 Mustang.
Excerpt © Kacey Hammell, 2013:
“The party was fantastic, Rory. Your parents looked so happy.” Hayley Fitzgibbon shifted in the front seat of the black ’69 Ford Mustang her long-time best friend owned since he turned twenty-one. She’d come to love it as much as he did, how it handled. It still hummed like it had when brand new. No car was sexier to her. Mustangs, especially the classic ’69 had lines that were slick, masculine and just screamed fast and hardcore. The vibration from the engine tingled through the back of her thighs and buttocks causing a delicious thrill through her body. “Thanks for driving me home. It was a great celebration. I can’t believe your parents have been married fifty years.”
“Yeah. It’s practically unheard of these days.” Rory clicked on his blinker then turned right. “They really seemed to like the gift Max and I got them. You think so?”
She nodded and brushed the white shrug off her shoulders. The heat wave spreading through Belleville, Ontario had reached staggering levels in the last couple of days. The air conditioning in the car barely cooled her skin. Plus being such an enclosed space alone with him after hours of dancing, soft touches as they mingled and were less than five feet away from one another all night had her on edge. “Of course they did. Who wouldn’t want to take a three-week cruise around the Caribbean? I’ll be sure to remind you and your brother of your generosity for my next birthday.”
He laughed and winked. “You’d have to be a very, very good girl.”
I’ll show you just how good I can be. Hayley pushed the thought away. For weeks she’d been having the same dream over and over. The erotic fantasies starring herself and Rory had left her breathless every time she woke, sweating and panting. It was all she thought about anymore. Images of the two of them having hot, sweaty sex—anywhere and everywhere—consumed her day and night. She trembled, flashes of heat zinging along her spine. Heart racing, she drew in a deep breath.
He captivated her in so many new ways these days. His kindness had always been there, but lately, she’d smile if mentioned helping an elderly lady get her groceries to the car. And the way he talked about himself, she got upset and angry. He complained about being a ginger, especially in the summer when he burned easily, but she loved his unique looks. Kind of geeky and studious mixed with sexiness and cute buoyancy he didn’t realize he possessed. She disliked hearing him put himself down.
How were any of her new reactions possible? They’d been best friends forever, and had shared all their secrets with one another.
Maybe the intense and potent way he looked at her now. At times when she’d glance at him, she’d catch darkness and smoldering heat in his eyes that made it difficult to breathe. Was it because she’d slimmed down over the last eight or nine months. She didn’t want to think about him like that, knew deep down that he wasn’t that shallow. But he had been giving her the eye lately, passion-filled stolen glances. Since then, the air around them had shifted.
He hadn’t hidden his reaction to her tonight when he’d picked her up for his parents’ anniversary party either. Rory’s normally soft hazel eyes had turned a golden rich hue, and when she walked out of her bedroom, he’d let his gaze roam over her body. She knew she looked great in the bright blue satin, off-one-shoulder, mid-thigh gown that really made the azure in her eyes pop. Perhaps he agreed. His breath had hitched, his hands shook as he’d helped her with her shrug. His touch had lingered on her shoulders longer than needed. The warmth from his palms scalded against her already hot skin. He’d stood inches behind her, smoothing his hands down her back, and electricity tingled through her body, filling her with sudden fervor and desperation to feel his embrace. And make some of those naughty dreams she’d been having come true.
“You’ll be what, thirty-seven in a couple months, Hales? Maybe we should plan a cruise or something awesome for your fortieth? You’d look amazing in a skimpy bikini you know. Maybe a nude beach?”
The sound of Rory’s voice pulled her from her thoughts. She gulped and cleared her dry throat. “Um, yeah. Sure.” The air in the vehicle was nearly smothering.
“Hey.” He laid a hand on her thigh. Hayley gasped. Heat shot along the skin, hitting her straight to her pussy. Her pulse raced. “It’s like you’re in another world. You okay?”
“Of course,” Trying to mask her nerves, she laughed away his concern. “Fine. Just warm in here.” And I want you. So bad.
Avid Reader. Romance Author. Redhead…
Canadian-born author, Kacey Hammell is definitely a book-a-holic, who began reading romances at a young age and became easily addicted. These days, as a multi-published erotic romance author, she enjoys adding a lot of heat, sass and emotion to the Contemporary Romances she writes.
A mom of three, Kacey has made certain each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right. She lives her own happily ever after with her perfect hero in Ontario, Canada, and is a true romantic at heart.
Connect with Kacey…
Be sure to click the Rafflecopter link and enter for Stacey’s Givaway!
Today we’re thrilled to welcome Lily Harlem and Lucy Felthouse, on tour for their hot new release, Grand Slam!
Co-authoring, by Lily Harlem
Co-authoring is something that authors either find comes easy to them or they shudder at the very thought of it. I’ve had the great pleasure of co-authoring with two other amazing writers over the last few years and Grand Slam is the product of my work with fabulous Lucy Felthouse.
This was Lucy’s first go at writing in tandem so we set out with the attitude of if it works, then great, if not well, we gave it a go. I think that’s the secret of writing a story together, not to take the whole experience too seriously. It HAS to be fun otherwise there is no point doing it. Also the reader will be able to tell that it has been a job to tear those words out, a strained flow, so it needs to be a cascade of scenes and dialogue to create a wonderful rounded romp!
Luckily for Lucy and I, Grand Slam positively flowed onto the pages. Neither of us had a moment of saying ‘damn, where do we go from here?’ In fact, we couldn’t write fast enough, passing the chapters backwards and forwards within hours on occasion.
We both like first person narrative, which is particularly handy, and having sexy Travis Connolley’s thoughts on the page, as well as Marie’s has made Grand Slam a really raw and bare-boned novel about a couple falling for each other in the most unusual of circumstances. Peeling back of the layers of their dark desires and addressing the concerns of living life in the public eye has also created an extra dimension of delicious tension.
Lucy and I enjoyed writing Grand Slam so much we have set off on our next novel already, working title Break Point, and have plans for many more in our Raw Talent series. You can find out all the gossip on the Raw Talent website!
“Some people like pain,” he said, still not looking at me.
“Masochists you mean?”
“Yes, I suppose.”
Shit, was he trying to tell me that he enjoyed the pain the accident had left him with? If so, we really needed to discuss this. “That’s not the majority of people though.”
“No, but more than you think. And some people like administering pain.” He turned to me, cocked his head slightly and moved into the space I’d left between us.
I looked into his eyes. Swallowed and tasted his cologne as it traveled into my nostrils and then laced my tongue. “Would you consider them to be good people, Travis? These individuals that like to hurt others.”
“I’ve known a few people who like to give and receive higher sensations, and most of them I consider to be good friends as well as good people.”
I hesitated, felt his body heat radiating toward me, wrapping around me as I pondered his words. We were close, very close, and his consuming presence made logical thinking much harder than normal. “I’m not quite sure what you’re telling me.”
“You talk about pain like it’s a bad thing, Marie.”
He smiled but it wasn’t a sweet smile, more like one of a hunter who’d spotted prey.
“Pain is unpleasant for a reason,” I said. “Because it’s bad.”
“I disagree.” He raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes. It was a challenging, cocky gesture.
A tingle snaked its way up my spine and threatened to wreak havoc in my body by turning into a tremble. But I beat it down. I wouldn’t let a patient get to me this way. I was the one supposed to be holding the reins here.
“Maybe, Marie, you should open your mind to new ideas with a little more grace.”
“I fail to see how I haven’t been graceful in discussing your theory that pain is good.”
“Can we keep it that way?”
“I hope so.”
“In that case,” he flicked his attention from my eyes and looked at my hair, “would you like me to demonstrate?”
Damn, the guy made me feel tiny. Even though I was wearing heels, his broad chest and wide shoulders were looming over me. “Okay.”
He twitched the right side of his mouth into a half-smile. Now he looked like a hunter who’d captured his prey. A trickle of fight or flight seeped into my system. Which would be my best option?
“Now that’s the first rule.” He reached up and undid the clasp holding my hair on the top of my head. It tumbled around my shoulders as the clasp fell to the floor.
“Doesn’t consent require knowing what you’re agreeing to?” Fuck, with him this close and stroking my hair, spreading it out, I’d pretty much agree to anything. Who was I kidding? Fight or flight was not an option, the only thing that shot through my mind was giving myself over to him. Allowing him to do whatever he wanted, control my body, feed it what it needed.
Damn, it had been too long since I’d been with a man. It was making me desperate.
He slotted his other hand over the left side of my head, the sound of him sliding his fingers over the shell of my ear noisy. My breath hitched and I locked my knees to stabilize my stance. I stared up at him, noting the small shafts of black hair sneaking out of his skin on his chin and the way his bottom lip was a little plumper than the top.
“You see, some pain,” he said, gathering my hair up at my crown and tugging to create tension on the roots, “can heighten the awareness of everything else going on in the body.”
He pulled harder, forcing my head to tip back.
I gasped as discomfort shot across my scalp.
He increased the pressure a little more.
I reached out and clutched at his shirt, felt his hard chest beneath. “Travis, I—”
“Shh, I’m just showing you.” He slipped his arm around my waist, dragged me close and yanked my hair, really hard.
“Ow, I—” A barrage of sensations blasted through my system. The feel of him pressing up against me, hot hard male, all wide pecs and solid thighs. The pain from having my hair tugged with force, and the awareness that my belly was shoved right up against his groin. A groin that held a wedge of thick flesh.
“Just feel,” he whispered, hovering his lips over mine. “Endorphins are rushing into your bloodstream, giving you a natural high as pain alerts your nerve endings that something exciting is happening.” He slid his free hand up my back, tracing the outline of my spine through my blouse.
I breathed in the air he was breathing out, warm and sweet. The scream of hurt in my scalp made me want to wriggle but being held so firmly and confidently kept me still. The heat of the discomfort slipped down my nape and neck and over my shoulders, then combined with the lovely sensation of him stroking my back.
“Can you feel it?” he whispered. “Pain mixing with pleasure, the lines between the two blurring.”
I could feel it with every fiber of my being. My skin was alive with awareness, my breasts were heavy and desperate for stimulation, and between my legs I was buzzing for action. Good, hard man action, preferably of the naked, sweaty variety. “Yes,” I gasped.
California had seduced me with promises of a new life working at Los Carlos Tennis Academy. What I didn’t expect was the dark, brooding number one seed, Travis Connolly, resisting my help. He wasn’t interested in my psychology skills. Instead his attention was drawn to the edgy, sharper corners of my desires, proving that they existed, setting me challenges and driving me crazy to the point of combustion.
I’m the best tennis player in the world—officially—so why would I need a damn woman full of psychobabble to get me on form? Despite my irritation, however, I can’t resist pushing Marie Sherratt’s buttons even though doing that shows her the darkest shades of my lust, the parts of me I buried deep. So I set her a challenge, one she rises to, one that has me rising too, and before long my game relies on her calling the shots, hitting the target and bending to my will. One thing was certain, being not just master of the court, but also of Marie is seriously good for my soul.
Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18212109-grand-slam
Lily Harlem lives in the UK with Mr Harlem and a host of rescued animals. She is an award winning author of contemporary erotic romance and writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Total-E-Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press as well as self-publishing. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations and sportsmen who are talented both in and out of the bedroom often feature in her novels. But whichever book you choose of Lily’s one thing you can be sure of is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!
Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9