Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Hi everyone,
Several weeks ago I posted an excerpt of Lost In Between by KL Kreig. Today, I am posting my review of Lost In Between because as of yesterday it is now available for purchase from your favorite e-book retailer.

Release Date: January 9, 2017
Publisher: self-pubbed
Source of my e-copy: L. Woods PR
Series: Finding Me #1
Synopsis
We all have one.

A price.

That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.

Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.

What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.

What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.

I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.

*If dirty-talking, dominant alphas are not your thing, move along. Mature, 18+ only. Book 1 in a 2-part duet.


After reading and loving KL Kreig's Black Swan Affair, I was very much looking forward to reading Lost In Between. I'm always down for a romance with a Pretty Woman vibe so I went into Lost In Between with admittedly higher expectations than I usually would have. While I liked Lost In Between it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's still an okay read though, especially if you like your romances with a large side of alpha males.
Willow Blackwell is a romance audio book narrator by day, and a rich men's arm candy by night--she's sort of like a prostitute without the sex. She hates being an arm candy, but she needed the extra cash to take care of her mom who is suffering from Alzheimer's. One day she gets rear ended by this super cocky, arrogant guy, but they had an immediate sexual connection.

This super arrogant guy is Shaw Mercer. He is a rich businessman and playboy. He and his best friend/business partner Noah are in a habit of picking up women to have threesomes with (fyi, there were zero threesomes in this book). But, Shaw's dad is planning to run for city mayor and his campaign manager suggested that Shaw clean up his act and get a girlfriend. They are also hoping Shaw's love life will divert the media from looking into his younger siblings' personal lives, and because Shaw loves his family and will do anything for them, he agrees. Instead of choosing one of his marriage-minded ex-girlfriends to be his fake girlfriend during his dad's campaign, Noah suggested Shaw hire this girl he recently met, which will save Shaw from a messy break-up and the possibility of marriage in the end.

Shaw, although skeptical, agrees. The girl Noah had in mind to be Shaw's paid fake girlfriend, of course, was Willow. As soon as Shaw found out that the girl who gave him a permanent boner since he rear ended her will be playing his fake girlfriend he was determined to get her into his bed. Although Willow is permanently wet whenever Shaw was around, she wanted things strictly professional. She had a feeling that if she sleeps with Shaw and let's him get close, he'll break her. She can't afford to let anyone close because she's dealing with a lot of stuff in her personal life and had skeletons in her closet she does not want getting out.

Of course, despite Willow's determination to keep Shaw at arm's length and not end up in his bed, that's exactly where she ended up in. The author definitely knows how to turn up the steam factor because this book was a scorcher! The sexytimes are extremely HOT!

I also liked that Lost In Between is set in the city of Seattle, which was personally a refreshing change from all the NYC-set books I've been reading. Don't get me wrong, I love my NYC books, but it's also nice to "see" another city.

I found the writing to be very readable, and I liked that the story was told in first person dual perspective. I enjoyed knowing what Willow and Shaw were thinking--I didn't prefer one POV over the other. The beginning was a little slow, but necessary as Willow and Shaw's situations and backstories were established. After that, the pacing was pretty steady all the way to the revelation of the big twist in the end and then it ended kinda abruptly. I actually didn't mind the cliffhanger ending because I was ready for the book to finish already--this was a long book at 420 pages.

My biggest issue with this book were the two main characters--Shaw more than Willow. I never really connected with either of them. I sympathized a bit with Willow's situation, but I never felt for her or really rooted for her. She kind of reminded me of Bella Swan in that all of the other characters were drawn to her and fawned over her, but I never understood why. I guess she's supposed to be charismatic, but that never shown through on the page. Her character never felt special to me.

As for Shaw, my biggest issue with him was his irrational jealously. Every time Willow spoke to another man, he gets super jealous and, even though he acknowledges that he's being crazy jealous, violent threats toward these men still flash through his thoughts. Irrational jealously is not sexy. I never warmed to Shaw's character. The only thing I liked about him was how he'd do anything for his troubled youngest sister Annabelle, and how protective he was of her. But, besides that, I found the other men, like his best friend Noah and Willow's ex-boyfriend Reid, more interesting. I found myself wanting to read about them rather than Shaw.

Another thing that made me side-eye this book was the looong passages the author included in this book from her other books (and one from another author). Like I mentioned, Willow is an audiobook narrator so we had a few scenes where she was narrating a book, and included in these scenes are these unnecessary pages-long excerpts of what she was narrating, which I thought was a bit of a shameless self-promotion on the author's part of her other books. **shrugs**

So, while I didn't enjoy Lost In Between as much as I did the author's previous book Black Swan Affair, I did like it well enough. I'm definitely intrigued to read the second book in the series to see how Willow and Shaw work things out after the twist in the end. If you like the Pretty Woman trope, a whole lot of alpha in your book boyfriend, and enjoy some panty-melting sexytimes, I suggest looking into Lost In Between.


About the Author
Author KL Kreig
As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).


Happy reading,
Michelle

Friday, February 17, 2017

Throne of Truth by Pepper Winters | Cover Reveal

Friday, February 17, 2017 with
Labels:
Hi everyone,
School and work has been kicking me in the butt this semester. They've taken over my life and blogging has taken a back seat... for now. I just have to get through this semester and then I'm all good.

Anyway, today, I have a cover reveal for my most anticipated release this month, Throne of Truth by Pepper Winters. If you got a chance to read my review of the first book in the duology, Crown of Lies, you all know how much I loved it and that I'm dying to find out how everything will conclude in Throne of Truth.

Here it is...


TWO YEARS
Since my life changed for the second time and not necessarily for the better. Two years since I traded prison bars for streets and hunted a runaway who I’d met in an alley.

TWO DAYS
Since I forgot how to lie, woke to fists, and chased after the girl who’d been stolen from me.

TWO HOURS
To save her, rescue her, keep my lies intact. She looks at me full of hate. I look at her full of confession.

TWO MINUTES
For our relationship to switch from mutual dislike to floundering with unknowns. I’ve hurt her. Now, she’s hurt me. I guess we’re even.

TWO SECONDS
For her to listen, to see, to finally know who I am. The answer comes with hardship. The answer isn’t what she wants to hear.

TWO BREATHS
For me to walk out the door.

TWO HEARTBEATS
For it all to be over.
EEeeeeepppp!!! So excited!!! Throne of Truth is also available for pre-order.


Happy reading,
Michelle

Tuesday, February 7, 2017



Publisher: self-pubbed
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Source of my copy: TRSOR/author
Series: Truth and Lies Duet #1
Synopsis
“I met the man I wanted. But then he vanished, and a new man claimed me instead. My father approved, my colleagues congratulated, and behind closed doors, I was bedded by a stranger.”

Noelle Charlston lives a fairy-tale life: a doting father, a powerful job, and a future blessed with financial security.

However, two meetings with two men changes her happy existence forever. First, she meets the man who makes her heart sing. Three years later, she meets the man who makes her blood quiver.

Broken-hearted from a teenage romance, Noelle’s freedom is no longer hers. It belongs to the stranger her father believes is her perfect match. The stranger who pulls his lies over everyone he touches.
Including her.

Seduced and manipulated, Noelle gives into the mysterious Penn Everett. The lies he spins, the truth he hides, the mystery he weaves—it’s all enough to slowly erode the woman she is and turn her into something else.
Until her past collides with her present.
And it’s her turn to lie.

To everyone… including herself.



Ever since I heard of Crown of Lies, I've wanted to pick it up. Not only because I've been wanting to read a novel by Pepper Winters (she comes highly recommended from my fellow-smut loving friends), but because the synopsis really caught my attention. 

And, yup, it was soooo fuckin' good. I needed Throne of Truth yesterday!

The story is told entirely in Noelle "Elle" Charlston's first-person POV. She was the sole heiress of Belle Elle (a chain department store like Macys), and from when she was a young girl she's always known that one day she'll take over the reigns from her father. By the time she graduated high school, Belle Elle was her whole life. But, on the night of her nineteenth birthday, feeling reckless and wanting to feel like a normal girl for once, she left Belle Elle to explore the city. What started as a night of wonder and new experiences ended in a nightmare when she found herself cornered in a dark alley with two thugs. All seemed hopeless when a mysterious man appeared and rescued her just in time. She ended up spending a magical night with him, until the police caught up with them. Elle ended up back with her father, while the mysterious man was taken away in handcuffs.

Fast forward three years later, and Elle had tried to push that nightmarish night with the thugs from her mind, but she also couldn't forget about that mysterious man she called Nameless who saved her. She tried to find him again, but couldn't find a trace of him. Meanwhile, her father had recently met a man named Penn Everett, who set his sights on Elle. Penn is the opposite of the mysterious man of Elle's past that she admit she had fallen for despite their brief time together. But, Penn's dogged pursuit of Elle, her father's easy acceptance of their relationship, and Elle's reluctant attraction to him, didn't erase the fact that there was something slightly off about Penn. Could he possibly be connected to the events that happened three years ago in that dark alley? What secrets was he hiding? And why does he look so familiar...?

Like I mentioned, I've been wanting to pick up Ms. Winters's books for a while but they've always been described as "very dark" which I equated to "sinister" and "BDSM", which was just not my cup of tea. I was happy to find that while there were dark moments and scenes, it was NOT the creepy, sexually overt ropes and dungeons type of dark.

I absolutely loved Elle. She's smart, capable, and even though she was surrounded by men, she held her own and acted like the capable businesswoman who runs a multi-dollar department store was supposed to be. She did not take Penn's alpha bullshit lying down, and every demand he made, she asserted herself right back. I really liked watching her character grow throughout the novel.

As for the men, Nameless was only there for a little while and we didn't really learn much about him and Penn, like Elle, I wasn't quite sure what to make of him. There were flashes of good that shown through, but he's keeping a lot of secrets. I couldn't quite swoon over him because there's the potential that he's not who I think he was despite my theories about who he may really be. I am DYING to know all the answers about Penn and Nameless though, because they're most definitely connected.

I was engaged throughout my reading of Crown of Lies. I love that it's set in New York City. I love the high tension and the mystery throughout the story that kept me glued to the pages, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And I love Elle's character. She was definitely the best part--I love her mix of powerful CEO, and vulnerability without being a doormat. My only gripe with her was why didn't she take some self-defense classes? 

And for the steam factor, this one was HOT, like, turn your AC up high hot, but there was nothing out of the ordinary if you read a lot of sexy, steamy romance.

Yes, it ends in an awful cliffhanger, but Throne of Truth comes out in about three weeks so the wait isn't that long (although still excruciating, because after that ending, I am dying to get my hands on the Throne of Truth). I highly recommend Crown of Lies (however, if you have triggers for sexual assault, you'll want to skip this one), for a darker-themed and twistier kind of romance read.


About the author
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

STALK Pepper: Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads


Pre-order Throne of Truth here.
If you've read Crown of Lies, I'm dying to talk theories of who Nameless is and what really happened to him. Chat with me in the comments!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lost In Between by KL Kreig | Excerpt

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 with
Labels:

Hello everyone,
After reading and being completely addicted to KL Kreig's Black Swan Affair last year, I couldn't wait to read more by her. Good thing she has a new book coming out on February 20th called Lost in Between.


We all have one.

A price.

That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.

Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.

What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.

What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.

I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.


Lost In Between is the first book in a two-duet. And if Black Swan Affair was anything to go by, it's gonna a super steamy read, and judging by the synopsis, feature a sexy alpha.

Here's a little preview of Lost in Between.

As long as Noah and I have known one another and as close as we are, he’s far from an open book. He holds some of life’s secrets so close to the vest, he’ll likely take them to his grave. So how he knows Ms. Randi Deveraux of La Dolce Vita is still a mystery he won’t divulge.

When he told me his plan and showed me the picture of the woman who’d play my love interest for the next several months, I was immediately drawn to the her, but it took me a few seconds to realize why.

It was her.

My spicy little Goldilocks.

The one I haven’t heard from.

The one I haven’t been able to get out of my fucking head for the past eight days.

The one my cock involuntarily gets hard for in the dark of night.

The glossy-colored print I stared at for long minutes was a complete contradiction to the fiery woman I’d met.

On paper her exterior was flawless. Not one sculpted eyebrow out of place. Striking blue eyes rimmed with the right amount of shadow, liner, and mascara that made them alluring but not slutty. Pouty lips painted a deep shade of maroon, lined impeccably so the stain didn’t seep, then glossed enough in the middle to draw your attention to their fullness. Hair curled into loose ribbons that fell over her shoulders and down her slim back.

But while the outside was practiced perfection, the inside screamed dead. Not damaged, not broken or bruised, but lifeless. This beautiful creature went through the motions. She moved through life without living. I don’t know how I saw it, or why, but I know it wasn’t a product of my overactive imagination. This woman’s pain was rooted deep but she put on an award-winning faรงade that told the outside world otherwise.

I saw the same thing when I stared into her fierce eyes under the cover of my sunglasses days ago, but I also saw something else. Smoking embers buried under piles of ash. God help me, but for some reason I want to be the man who stokes those smoldering cinders until they spark into a burning inferno, bringing her roaring back to life.

Standing before her now, I’ve no doubt I’m the igniter, the single match needed to wake her from the living dead.

“Summer, is it?” I close the door behind me and move to the couch, gesturing for her to sit.

She doesn’t. She just blinks rapidly like she’s seeing a ghost. That makes me smile for some reason.

I know the name she’s using is fake. I hate it. Not the name, per se, but the fact that I don’t know her real one. I told Ms. Deveraux my circumstances and my concern around using a fake name. The press will eventually find out and it’s best if we’re up front in the beginning rather than if they dig, thinking we’re hiding something. That would be disastrous. She agreed but told me the decision was up to Summer. If she agreed to my terms, I could plead my case. If not, then her anonymity was still protected.

“You don’t look like a Summer,” I say casually as I take a seat and cross my legs.

Although in a way she does. She’s hot and sultry and I’ve no doubt she’s nice and moist in the place I’m dying to drive my cock. Jesus, she is absolutely mouthwatering. And she has the sexiest fucking voice I have ever heard. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about her.

She crosses her arms and cocks a hip in irritation. “Is that so? What do I look like then?”

Mine.

Why that disturbing word pops into my head, I haven’t a clue. She is yours temporarily, though. If she agrees.

“How is your neck by the way?”

That seems to catch her off guard because her cocky bravado falters. “Uh…fine. It’s fine.” She unconsciously reaches up to palm it. My fingers itch, wishing they were on her skin instead. I still remember the electricity that ran down my arm when I touched her before. It set my cock on fire and it hasn’t stopped burning since. “You’re lucky, you know. I could be wearing a neck brace right now and be lawyered up.”

“And you’d still be just as beautiful.” I ignore the lawyer comment. I know it’s just a dig. When she blushes and looks away, my grin gets wider and I allow myself a few seconds to absorb her, head to toe. I find myself zeroing in on that tiny diamond stud in her nose, now catching the light. I first noticed it when she pounded on the window of my Rover calling me names. I generally find them childish, yet on her, I find myself incredibly turned on by it.

“Why don’t you take a seat?” On my lap would be preferable.

Defiant eyes snap back to mine. “Hit and run anyone else lately?”

“Hit and run?” I chuckle. “I didn’t hit and run you. I took accountability.”

“Yeah. After I dumped car parts into your lap, it was pretty hard to deny it any longer.”

Hell. This woman is full of restrained passion. She just needs someone to help her unleash it in a very controlled manner.

“Why haven’t you called about your car? Change your mind on whose fault it was?” I’m goading her, but Hot. Damn. The sparks firing from her are overly addictive.

“Oh, it was your fault, all right,” she snaps. “And I’ve been…busy.”

“Yes, I can imagine you have a very full schedule.” I sound more sarcastic than I intend, but the thought of her with other men makes me feel exactly the way I felt when I thought of Noah with her.

Her lips thin. She’s madder than a hornet. I’m harder than a two by four.

“Why are you here, Drive By?”

Drive By? I laugh at her feisty spirit. God, I want to kiss her. Feel her tongue sparring eagerly with mine. See if she tastes of rage and raw energy.

“I was under the impression you were agreeable to meeting with me.”

When Noah set this up, I insisted on three things.

One: it take place in Ms. Deveraux’s private home with her alone. There’s no way in hell I will be caught on film coming and going from her “business.”

Two: I meet with Ms. Deveraux in advance and work through the contractual details to my satisfaction. Let’s just say I now feel comfortable we have a mutual interest in keeping this arrangement buried deep.

And three: I be allowed to personally meet with “Summer” before she signs the contract. Surprisingly, that was the toughest piece to negotiate. Seems Ms. Deveraux is very protective of her, or maybe she’s that way with all of her employees.

Everything I have done to secure her has deviated from Ms. Deveraux’s normal course of business, but this situation is far from normal. It’s reckless at worst. Precarious at best.

“How did you find me?”

Sheer, dumb luck.

“I’m very resourceful.”

Her forehead creases. “This is a mistake.”

She turns to leave and I panic. True blistering panic sears through me at the thought she’s about to walk through that door and I may never see her again. I don’t know her real name. I don’t know how to contact her and if this meeting goes south, I know I won’t get anything further about her from Randi Deveraux. If she walks out on me now, I highly doubt she’ll give me the time of day when she finally does call Dane about her car.

I don’t know why I care that I spend the next few months with her and only her so damn much. I just do.

“Wait,” I plead.

She stops but doesn’t turn. I have no idea what possesses me, but I close the distance between us until I’m a whisper away. Our body heat plays off each other, growing hotter by the second.

“You haven’t even listened to my proposal,” I say against her ear.

Her breath kicks up. Good. She’s not unaffected by me, and that will play into my hand nicely.

“You can get someone else,” she replies softly, without conviction.

Drawing her long hair off her shoulder, I let my finger feather across her bare flesh. It’s soft and silky. She shivers. I suppress a moan. Fuck, I want her so much. It makes no sense.

“I don’t want anyone else,” I tell her truthfully, keeping my voice low.

“Why?” she breathes.

I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is about her that draws me in. I wish I did. I need to stop it. I should end this right now—look at a dozen other pictures and pick a woman whose very presence doesn’t twist me into knots and make me have thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts that make me uncomfortable. It’s unnerving.

But, fuck me. I can’t. There is just something different about this woman and I won’t rest until I find out what it is.

“Have a seat. Just hear me out. Please,” I tack on sincerely.

She stands motionless and I wonder what her next move will be. My hands curl into fists as I restrain myself from throwing her over my shoulder and hauling her to my house. I think she could benefit greatly from a hard hand and a red ass. I have a feeling she might even enjoy it.

When she floats effortlessly to one of the velvet-covered chairs, I release a veiled breath. Picking up the contract from the edge of Ms. Deveraux’s desk, I make myself comfortable across from her and place the paperwork on the table separating us. Her eyes drop to it but she makes no move to pick it up.

“So what’s your proposal, Mr. Knowles?”

“Mr. Knowles?”

“That’s your name, right? Dane Knowles. Wildemer & Company?”

Amused, I rest my elbows on my knees and grin at her. “No. Dane is my assistant. I told you to call him and he’d take care of the damage to your death box.”

“Death box?” She sounds offended.

“Do you know what the safety rating is on that little tin can you drive?” When she opens her mouth to respond, I talk over her. “Five point seven out of ten. You’re basically driving around in your own steel coffin.”

I expect a hot retort or for her to leave in a huff. What I don’t expect is a genuine, breathtaking smile that lights up her face like summer and makes my cock knock uncomfortably on my zipper in a futile attempt to reach her. My God, she’s trying to kill me already.

“Are you a walking Kelly Blue Book of safety ratings, Mr.…?”

“I have a vast array of useless Trivial Pursuit knowledge up here,” I retort with a smirk, finger pointing to my temple. I’ll never admit that I looked it up after our little accident. She could be seriously hurt in that ridiculous miniature box on wheels that somehow passes for a fucking car. Hell, had I hit her any harder, she would be in the hospital. “And I’m Shaw. Shaw Mercer.”

“Shaw Mercer,” she repeats slowly like she’s tasting my name for the first time. Savoring every consonant and every vowel. Fuck. I sit back and cross one leg over the other to hide my rock-hard erection.

“Any relation to Preston Mercer?”

I nod, impressed that she tied me back to my father instead of referring to me as one of Seattle’s most eligible bachelors. She’s intelligent and up on politics. I like that. Immensely. If you ask three-fourths of the residents of Seattle, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many branches of government there are, something that’s taught in middle school, let alone who the mayor of Seattle is.

“So why is the mayor’s son…here?”

Her eyes are locked on mine, waiting on an answer.

When she swallows I follow the delicate line of her neck down to the swell of her breasts that peek out from the light pink strapless flowing dress she’s wearing like a fucking Greek goddess. One flick of my finger and I could find out the color of her areolas and the size of her nipples before I draw one into my mouth for a sample. My mouth waters at the thought.

The conversation that Ms. Deveraux and I had earlier about expectations sits hard in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, I was relieved to get confirmation she doesn’t sell herself, only her “time,” but now that I’m sitting here in front of her, I won’t rest until she lets me explore every square inch of not only her perfect body, but her complex mind. I want to know her like no one else has.

When our gazes connect again I’m sure mine is full of unmistakable heat. Hers definitely is.

She clears her throat and straightens her back. “I think you have the wrong idea about what it is I do.”

“I don’t,” I state plainly.

“I don’t sleep with my clients, Mr. Mercer.”

Oh, but you will. We both know our ingredients are explosive.

“Women would pay to have sex with me, not the other way around.”

She huffs a laugh as a wry look crosses her face. “Then what is it you need if not a good fuck?”

I chuckle and when I lean forward she straightens her spine. I love that even the simplest of movements I make in her direction affect her, just like she does to me. “Is that what I’ll be missing with you? A good fuck?” I won’t be missing a damn thing. She will be mine in every conceivable way. I know it and so does she.

“Not just good. Life altering,” she banters smoothly.

Now it’s my turn to smile slowly. What I wouldn’t give to throw her up against the wall and show her just what a life-altering fuck really is. For what seems like forever we stare at each other in some sort of weird silent challenge where we’re waiting to see what move the other will make.

Shaking myself out of her spell, I pick up the papers and hand them to her.

“What’s this?”

“Your employment contract.”

“All the paperwork is handled through Randi.”

“I want a little extra insurance.”

She quickly flips through the five-page document before lifting her eyes. “Nondisclosure agreement? This is sounding very fifty shades-ish. And just so you know, if I find any mention of hard limits or safe words, that’s a deal breaker.”

I can’t help but laugh loudly.

“I’m not kidding,” she says, her voice stern.

“Trust me, Goldilocks, if I could have gotten that past your warrior she-devil, I would have.”

Her eyes narrow, but I see a little twitch at the corner of her mouth so I forge ahead, making a mental note to invest in handcuffs and a flogger. Or six.

“The duration is for approximately the next four months. Ten hours a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on my schedule. You may be required to travel and you will be available at all times when I need you, day or night. You will attend social events, fundraisers, business dinners, and family functions. You will be photographed and it’s only fair to warn you, you will likely be hounded by the press but I’ll try to shield you as much as possible.”

She regards me quietly. I wish I could tell what’s spinning around in that pretty little head of hers. A corner of my mouth tips when she says, “Reelection is just around the corner.”

Not a question and I don’t answer, but score another point for her.

For not the first time I wonder if this little plan of Noah’s will backfire, taking us all down in a curl of hot flames. She figured out what I was doing within two minutes. Lianna would be a far safer, more believable choice. But there’s also an undeniable, powerfully charged connection between us that will be hard for people to refute.

“And what is my role, specifically?”

Deciding I don’t care if this entire thing blows up in my face because that means I won’t get what I want—which is her—I stand and step around the table, holding out my hand.

When she tentatively sets hers in mine, I help her up and wrap one arm around her waist.

Pulling her close, I relish in the hitch of her breath. Cupping her cheek, I savor the baby-fine skin under the pad of my thumb. I take a deep breath, drinking in her delicately floral scent. She’s intoxicating and my head is already spinning.

“What are you doing?” she whispers, her small hands going to my chest.

Dipping my head, I trail my nose along her jaw, stopping so my lips brush her ear. “Making sure we have chemistry.”

She mutters a curse under her breath I know I’m not meant to hear before stuttering, “Wh…why?”

Fuck, if she only knew the dirty things running through my head right now.

“Because, my wide-eyed little pretty, you’re going to play my new love interest. My girlfriend. My serious girlfriend.” I emphasize the word so she understands what she’s getting herself into. I won’t pay her to be in my bed but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up there anyway.

“I…I haven’t agreed to anything yet.” Her breathlessness is testing me and she’s only about half an inch away from finding out exactly how much.

Walking into this meeting, I had already agreed to what I thought was a generous offer with her boss, madam, keeper, whatever she’s called. But after the last fifteen minutes, I’ve decided I will pay whatever it takes to have her. To own her. I think I would give away my own soul.

Framing her face with both hands now, I lean in until my mouth is a hairsbreadth from hers. Her eyes fall to my lips. I feel her wariness, but I also feel her hunger. She parts her lips and I watch with a deep ache in my groin as her tongue darts out to moisten them in anticipation of my kiss.

I restrain from slamming my mouth to hers, taking what I want. What she wants me to take, regardless of how she’s trying to refute me.

“But you will. Everyone has a price, Summer. What’s yours?”

About the Author
Author KL Kreig
As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

Happy reading,
Michelle

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Source of my copy: e-ARC
Series: Roughneck Billionaires #1
Synopsis
Boone Price and his brothers know oil; at least, the dirty, backbreaking side of working an oil rig. But when their scrubby, worthless hunting land turns out to be sitting on top of one of the biggest oil wells in North America, they go from the rig to the boardroom and end up billionaires practically overnight.

Now with enough money to do whatever he wants, Boone is developing a taste for fine things. And the finest thing he's ever seen is Ivy Smithfield, local realtor. Boone's determined to buy her affection and show the world that he's more than just a dirty fool with a bit of money. Ivy's classy and beautiful - she'll make the perfect trophy wife. The fact that she's sexy and funny is just a bonus.

There's one tiny problem - Ivy's as dirt poor as Boone is. Her carefully crafted veneer of luxury? All an act to promote her business. What's Boone going to do when he finds out the woman he's falling for is, well, in his league?



I have really mixed feelings for Dirty Money
My true rating for this book is 2.75/5 stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it very much either. But it's still very readable, but the characters drove me nuts... Like I said, very mixed feelings.

 Okay, I'm going to start with what I liked.

When I first started reading Dirty Money, like within pages of the first chapter I tweeted this.
Yes! I thought. A different kind of billionaire. I love my billionaire heroes, but I have to admit a lot of the time they're one and the same: smooth, sophisticated, well-cut suit, coiffed hair, worked in a high rise office with corner windows. Then, here comes Boone: a dirty roughneck with unkempt hair, Duck Dynasty-style bushy beard, trailing dust wherever he goes, and basically the opposite of sophisticated. Did I swoon and fall for him? No. Because he did some stuff that made me side-eye him, which I'll get into later. But I appreciated the fact that we got a different type of hero in Boone. 

Another thing I liked was the writing. It was very readable. It was paced well, and there weren't any parts that dragged. It was well-written. Oh, and the smexin' was HOT!

Now, what I didn't like.

Boone was this uncouth guy, but I didn't mind that about him. There's something sexy about a hardworking, dirty man.

*Ahem* 

But Boone did some crazy shit. Like, when he went to confront this one rich guy at a golf course and this guy and his other rich buddies turned their noses up at Boone, which understandably upset Boone. If there's one thing Boone hates, it's people looking down at him. So, to get back at these people, he decided to buy their golf course (because he can afford it) just to torch it down to the ground. Like, that'll show 'em for disrespecting me! He did ended up doing something nice to the golf course after he burned it to the ground so that sort of redeemed his actions. But, there were also other instances where he just threw money at situations because he didn't want to deal with it, or he threw money to get what he wanted. Personally, for me, throwing money to solve problems is not sexy no matter if you can afford to. 

Another thing was how Boone found Ivy: he saw a picture of her on an real estate ad (because Ivy worked in real estate company) and from seeing her picture he decided she's the classy lady he wanted as his wife. So, he goes to her place of work and within a day of meeting her, he proposes marriage. Boone continually would do these things where if it happened in real life, it wouldn't be romantic, it'd be creepy. However, as much as I didn't like some of his actions there was something endearing about Boone so I couldn't really dislike him.

As for Ivy, I wasn't a big fan of hers. She hit two of the things I hate most about heroines: she's the martyr type (she worked herself to the bone so that she can give her little sister the college education she didn't have, but she refused to tell her sister that she can barely keep food on the table and pay the bills every month--like, why? If her little sister was a young child, I would've understood keeping money troubles from her, but her sister was in college. If she got sick, what then?) and she kept a big secret about herself--lied to Boone--pretty much the entire book that she's not the rich, classy lady Boone thought she was. And she kept lying until about 87% of the book. She was also kind of hot and cold towards Boone (which is another strike against her) where she'd pull away and avoid him for a few days whenever he'd ask anything personal. 

And when the "I love yous" came between the two of them, I really wasn't feeling it, especially from Ivy.

So, basically, I read Dirty Money to get to the next book in the series. Boone is the oldest of five roughneck billionaire brothers and I wanted to the next brother's book. While this particular book didn't quite for me, I do want to continue on with the series. This series is like the sexy, steamy version of Duck Dynasty and I'm all for that. If you like your billionaires rough around the edges and a lot dirty, give this series a go!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: November 28, 2016
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: n/a
Synopsis
At a house party in the countryside, the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.


NOTE: Sweetest Regret was previously published in the in 2015 in the Christmas-themed anthology, What Happens Under the Mistletoe.

Meredith Duran is one of my auto-buy authors because I can always count her books for an excellent historical romance read. Sweetest Regret, a novella, is no exception--even though it's a novella, you still get a full, satisfying story and a swoon-worthy HEA.

Georgiana "Georgie" Trent, the prime minister's daughter, and Lucas Godwin met and fell in love two years prior in Munich. But, Lucas left Munich without so much as a goodbye and broke Georgie's heart. After her father was suddenly called away on business during a Christmas house party, he invited Lucas to help her look for a missing letter of diplomatic importance that was reportedly stolen by one of the house party guests. Georgie was still very angry and wanted nothing to do with him, but, for some reason Georgie didn't understand, Lucas seemed angry with her as well.

As they're forced to reluctantly work together to find the missing letter, they find that they still have a strong attraction and feelings for each other. But, they have to first work out what actually happened in the past that caused Lucas's abrupt departure before they can hope for their happily ever after.

The events in the novella occurred days leading up to Christmas and days immediately after. The house party guests were foreign diplomats who wanted to experience a true English Christmas so there was a wonderful holiday season-y vibe to the story. The writing is as excellent as always--just as well-written as Ms. Duran full novels. The pacing was excellent--even though it's a novella it was a well-rounded story. 

If you're missing the holiday season now that we're in dreary January, I highly recommend you pick up Sweetest Regret. Read it while drinking some peppermint flavored hot cocoa, and it will take you right back to Christmas.
(Currently $0.99 at your favorite e-book retailer.)
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