Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
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Exclusive Excerpt: THE MUTT by Kasia Bacon

The Mutt Kasia Bacon

Rough week? Probably an understatement. Thankfully, we’ve brought you an amazing little gift from the ever-wonderful Kasia Bacon! Let us take you world away with this sneak peek from The Mutt, out right now!


 

I WANTED him from the start. From the very first time I laid eyes on him. Everyone kept talking about him in the days prior to his arrival to the camp, curious about this half-breed born to an influential Elven clan, but brought up by humans. A hybrid. A mutt.

Lochan Féyes.

I was curious as well. Maternal half-breeds such as him were a rarity. They retained all physical qualities of a pureblood and enjoyed, at least in theory, equal social status. Not that discrimination didn’t occur. The real losers in the biracial game were the paternal ones. Considered downright human and non-citizen, they constituted the lowest caste in society.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he exceeded my expectations. Later I discovered he had a knack for doing just that.

If I hadn’t known human blood flowed in his veins, I wouldn’t have been able to spot it. The tips of his ears were perhaps less pointy, and his eyes—not as distinctly angular as those of an average Elf.

Even back then, at seventeen, he proved every bit a killer. He made that obvious during the first training session. He was deadly. Calm. Steady. Cold. Disinterested. So self-assured that he seemed arrogant. I wanted to bring him down a peg. Teach him a lesson. Break him. Taste him. Make him beg me to kiss him.

I wanted his attention, but he refused to give it to me.

So I had to find a way to claim it.

His eyes were blue—so intensely the colour almost appeared offensive. Fuck, it offended me. I was just an unworldly Dark Elf at the time, unaccustomed to irises that weren’t obsidian. The azure hue of his gaze reminded me of the glass crystals that grew in caves in the highlands of the Black Mountain. I used to collect them as a child.

I wanted those eyes on me.

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Aural Pleasures, Guest Post

Aural Pleasures: “The Magic of the Sexy Mix Tape/Playlist” by Harper Kincaid

Girl Breaker Harper Kincaid

Confession time: I’m one of those chicks.

I’m the type that, when you compile a playlist for me, I’m going to analyze the fa-shizzle out of it. Admittedly, being married for as long as I have, I don’t get many dedicated playlists anymore (don’t worry, he’s a man of many other talents – ahem).

So I make them for myself.

I compile playlists for each season of the year. I make playlists when I’m on vacation, so I can remember exactly how I felt while experiencing the away-game-happy. And I design playlists for the people I diggity-dig. Sometimes they actually know about them – oftentimes, not so much.

When I’m trying to write a steamy scene, I admit I have some go-to songs in my archives, but I’m also constantly on the look-out for new ones to add (got any suggestions?).

Writing Girl Breaker, the last novel of my Break on Through series, was definitely an adventure and having the right music certainly enabled good girl, Jessica, and rough-around-the-edges biker, ‘Mad’ Max, to find their way to each other. Their sexual chemistry was off the charts and I was tickled hot pink to sit back and watch them do their thing.


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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
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Exclusive Excerpt: BEAST RISING by Angela Addams

Beast Rising Angela Addams

WARNING: This excerpt is too hot for work. Nothing says ‘wild’ quite like an erotic romance with a paranormal twist. Make sure no one’s around and kick back and enjoy this excerpt from Angela Addams!


The only way he could find solace was in the arms of his mate. Mayhem took the minutes that he had to be alone with Hannah and used them to love her.

He ran his fingers through her hair, sweeping the wet strands from her bare shoulder. “You showered.”

After his meeting with Aubrey, he’d tracked Hannah down, knowing his time was limited. That important things would demand his attention.

“I needed time to unwind.” Hannah’s smile was sad but tender. “Lots of intense emotions swirling around down there.”

He rubbed his thumb over her bottom lip, cupping her face at the same time. “What do you feel now?”

She giggled a little. “I feel like things are going to get very interesting.” Her smile faded as she reached her hand to trail a line from his brow to his jaw. “I feel your sorrow. I’m so sorry, Mayhem. Whatever you need from me…”

“I need you to love me, Hannah. That’s all I’ve ever needed.” He bent and kissed her, sweetly, tenderly as he wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her off the ground. “Let me think of something else for a minute.”

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
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Exclusive Excerpt: CLAIMING THE BILLIONAIRE by J.M. Stewart

Claiming The Billionaire J.M. Stewart

Is it finally sunny where you are? Is the Earth slightly less like a basketball that’s been placed in the freezer? (We’re New Yorkers and great at projecting.) Are you still somehow stuck at work? Well, we’ve got an amazing boost to your day from J.M. Stewart, a sneak peek at Claiming The Billionaire!


As she stepped up to the lane again, he should’ve tossed another cocky taunt at her, some barely disguised innuendo, but he could only watch. Despite her protests regarding bowling, they were having a good time. His head had been quiet so far. Not once in the last hour and a half had he thought of that fucking cell in Iraq. The crowd around him, the deafening noise, hadn’t triggered anything ugly, because he was lost in her, in keeping her smiling and laughing.

By the fourth game two hours later, they both played so lousy he laughed every time he stepped up to the lane. Cassie, though, was ahead by five points. This game would decide who won his little bet.

As it turned out, his ball curved off into gutter. Leaving all ten damn pins still standing.

Cassie let out a victorious squeal behind him, meeting him at the ball return with a grin plastered across her face and her chest puffed out with pride. She stepped into his personal space and poked him in the chest. “You. Are. Mine. I won, fair and square, soldier boy.”

He leaned down and touched his nose to hers. She might have won, but he could still pull a few punches of his own. “I’ve always been yours. Believe me, princess, I’m going to enjoy letting you have your way with me.”

That got her. Cassie froze, heat flaring in her eyes. A heady shiver moved through her as she stared up at him. “So, what now?”

“Well, that depends on you, but”—he leaned his head beside her ear and lowered his voice—“I’m dying to peel you out of those jeans.”

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: HOOKED ON TROUBLE by Kelly Siskind

Hooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind

We devoured this excerpt in record speed. Hooked On Trouble by Kelly Siskind has the pacing of a really great soap opera! And here’s your taste:


His large hand presses against my knee under the table. “Can we talk?”

Jesus, his touch. It’s the first time I’ve felt the weight of his palm on me since Aspen. It’s heavy. Huge. Callused. Instinctually I shift forward, my body no longer mine to command. He doesn’t move his hand. Just his thumb. It presses harder, dragging downward. I grip my armrests to keep from sliding to the floor. He stares at me, waiting for my answer.

Yes. No. Maybe. I choose silence.

The way our lives are entrenched with our friends, I’ll have to spend time with him, and I can’t keep pretending I can block him out. Moving here was about starting fresh, which means letting go of this grudge. But talking about Aspen could stir up more feelings, the same way the experience spurred my need to find Rose. If we talk about our time in the hot tub, it could unhinge me further.

Our waiter arrives to take our order, and Nico’s thumb moves again, a tiny brush, his skin against mine, sending a pulse hooked-on-trouble-quote-graphicbetween my thighs. My sanity plummets. I shout, “Chicken,” like a lunatic as I push away from the table.

Nico’s hand slides from my knee, but his eyes don’t waver. I feel his gaze on my back as I hurry to the bathroom. The second I get inside, I close the door and lean against it, thankful it’s not a public room with several stalls. I take a few deep breaths.

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Aural Pleasures, Giveaway

Aural Pleasures + Giveaway: Kim Redford’s BLAZING HOT COWBOY

Blazing Hot Cowboy Kim Redford

I’ve always enjoyed second chance love stories, so in Blazing Hot Cowboy, I paint a vivid picture of former high school sweethearts Kent Duval and Lauren Sheridan getting back together. But when these two aren’t all over each other, how do they pass the time?

Both enjoy listening to music! What tunes are their favorites?


Kent Duval’s favorite musical playlist includes:

Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”

Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”

Waylon Jennings’ “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”

Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”

Garth Brooks’ “Standing Outside the Fire”

 

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Guest Post

Guest Post: New Year’s Resolutions in Amanda Forester’s MY HIGHLAND REBEL

My Highland Rebel Amanda Forester

Every New Year I make new resolutions…or at least I think about making resolutions. Sometimes I start, sometimes I only think about starting, but rarely do I continue with any of my resolutions…at least until the next year!

Being released at the beginning of January is a great time for My Highland Rebel, because the two main characters definitely make some serious changes throughout the book. Both are stretched and grow and make some significant changes—ones I’m pretty sure they will keep!

Before Jyne Campbell meets Core, she has been dismissed by her family as the youngest and weakest lass in a large and powerful clan. With so many big personalities around her, it is easy to fade into the background. When she is placed in a situation where vulnerable people need her help, however, she finds in inner strength not even she knew she had.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Jane Ashford’s Favorite Parts of Writing Historical Fiction

Lord Sebastian's Secret Jane Ashford

There are lots of things I enjoy about writing historical fiction. In terms of plot, I appreciate the social constrictions of earlier times, because they provide so many opportunities for complications.

I love research. I can happily dive into sources, drawn from one fascinating fact to another until I surface hours later with a treasure trove of material. There’s so much to learn!

The clothes are great, too. Gloves and cloaks and bonnets. Ballgowns and walking dresses. Half boots and dancing slippers.

But if I have to pick one favorite thing it’s the language, particularly in the Regency period where I hang out, with a huge shout-out to Georgette Heyer for showing us the way in this regard. Who could resist the phrases?

A stupid or silly person can be — bacon-brained, beef-witted, bird-witted, a chucklehead, a fatwit, a nincompoop, a rattleplate, a slowtop, or scatter witted.

They called gin blue ruin, Flash of Lightning, Old Tom, and Stark Naked. The latter presumably because of the state in which you might find yourself after a drinking bout. And the wonderful terms they had for those who’d overindulged — drunk as a wheelbarrow, in your cups, castaway, disguised, eaten Hull cheese, foxed, jug-bitten, properly shot in the neck, tap-hackled, and top-heavy. And if you tried to lie about your condition, you were telling bouncers or Canterbury tales or plumpers, cutting shams, or pitching the gammon.

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Aural Pleasures, Exclusive Excerpt

Aural Pleasures + Excerpt: SUMMER INDISCRETIONS by Tamara Mataya

Summer Indiscretions Tamara Mataya

 Ready to get hot and heavy? We’ve got something to chase the winter blues away. Reading with a soundtrack! Don’t miss this taste of Summer Indiscretions!


This book is set in Miami, so I wanted songs to bring the heat, but also give me something to groove to. Fun, flirty, sexiness, and nothing too dark. I definitely listened to some more than others, but they all got their turn in my headphones.

Summer Indiscretions Playlist

  1. Keep You by Wild Belle
  2. Days Like That (Radio Edit) by Sugar Jones
  3. No Way No by Magic!
  4. Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas
  5. Prayer In C Robin Schulz Radio Edit by Lily Wood and The Pricks
  6. The Walker by Fitz And The Tantrums
  7. Buttons by The Pussycat Dolls
  8. Get It On Tonight by Montell Jordan
  9. Let’s Ride by Montell Jordan
  10. Say it Right by Nelly Furtado
  11. Crazy In Love by Sofia Karlberg
  12. One Step Forward by Max Romeo
  13. Made Of by Sizzla
  14. I Am The Best by 2NE1
  15. Berlin Acoustic by Sofia Karlberg

EXCERPT

The breeze rolling off the ocean hits me, counteracting the heat with a deliciously salty tang, and I put my cell away, determined to be fully present in this moment. If vitamin D is the feel-good vitamin, I’m going to soak up as much as I can. I need to feel good right about now. I’m doing the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done, and no one can take that away from me.

Walking up King’s Point Drive to the beach felt like an adventure in a foreign land. People are friendlier and wear less clothing in Miami—clothing in a dazzling rainbow of colors—and a lot of women seem to wear bikini tops instead of real shirts or tank tops. Is this why they seem happier in Florida, or is it all the space? Maybe it’s just because it’s so close to the beach.

Without the tall buildings reaching high above like back home, the sky is nearly oppressively open, and I squint up at it for a moment before my eyelids pinch shut against the brightness of the sun. Shelby’s condo is on a little almost-island surrounded by water, with the Oleta River State Park on the west and the ocean a couple blocks to the east. I’m in Miami, but somehow I feel like I’m in an oasis away from it all.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Cat Fisa’s Five Rules for Surviving in the Kingmaker World” by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire Amanda Bouchet

It’s a dangerous time to be the Kingmaker—a human lie detector and the most coveted diplomatic weapon in the realms. In Breath of Fire, the second book in The Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy, Thalyria is heading toward all-out war, Cat is now officially out of hiding, and her secrets are out, too. Some key Olympian Gods as well as her warlord lover, Griffin Sinta, are all telling her it’s time to kick denial in the butt and start taking responsibility for the kingdom, so continuing to ignore that pesky, world-shaking prophecy about herself is getting harder to do. The problem is, when you’re a runaway princess just about everyone wants to capture, kill, or use, actually getting around to ruling the world can be tough. It’s hard enough just to survive.

So what’s a girl to do?

Learn how to hide. Know how to fight.

Cat is adept at both. In fact, when hightailing it to safer ground isn’t an option, she can melt enemies with magic, turn their own powers back on them, and hit just about any target with a knife. When it comes to protecting the people she cares about, she can be unapologetically violent and forget to even blink an eye at the ensuing bloodshed. And when situations really get sticky, whether her foe is human, mage, or beast, Cat follows some rules of survival that have served her well over the years.

 

  1. The Gods can be trusted—usually.

If an Olympian shows enough interest in you to dole out magic, gifts, or even advice, take it. It’s extremely rare, definitely not to be ignored, and might not make any sense at the time, but things like that have a way of working themselves out—once you understand what’s going on. When Gods dabble in the lives of men, anything can happen. Cat’s philosophy on this one? Take the magic. As for the rest… Wait, see, and hope for the best.

 

  1. If you think an adversary has more magic than you do, bluff like there’s no tomorrow—there might not be.

Bravado goes a long way in any battle, especially when the magic in Thalyria is so powerful and vast that, frankly, you never know what an enemy might be able to throw at you in a fight. Elements? Creatures? Something conjured from thin air? The good thing is, your foes don’t know what kind of magic you’ve got in you, either. If they think you can pound them into the dust with a single thought, they might be less likely to try to burn you to a crisp. Cat’s viewpoint? Make them run away first. It’s better than doing it yourself.

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