Spotlight: Spooky Sojourn by Ashley Ladd

spookyTitle: Spooky Sojourn by Ashley Ladd
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Length: Novel/Word Count: 50,278

Summary:

Deanna Thompson doesn’t believe in ghosts. However, everybody thinks her hotel is haunted, in particular the very handsome, sexy and irritating paranormal investigator Harry DeVeaux.

Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage? The Gilroy’s owners want the spirits, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel, eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Paranormal investigator Harry DeVeaux comes highly recommended and, against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.

Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts, and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of the paranormal—not to mention that they highly annoy each other—sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasise about Harry and, inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, she writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks and reads. Ooh la la!

Purchase Link: Totally Bound

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Review: Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

perfect girlTitle: Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Genre: Contemporary, Humor/Satire, Fiction
Length: 326 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Summary:

Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the “W” in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humour and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man’s world

The Review:

If you have ever felt pulled in far too many directions, then you do not want to miss Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman. Heartfelt with (mostly) charming characters, this novel provides a humorous but realistic perspective that is sure to resonate with anyone who has found themselves overcommitted due to other people’s expectations.

Carol Colbert is in her mid-twenties and while she is extremely likable, she lets everyone take advantage of her. With a high pressured job as an investment analyst, her boss and co-workers are sexist, condescending and refuse to give her credit for her hard work. Carol’s family is just as bad-her mother and sister are incredibly demanding and they browbeat her into the tasks they do not want to be bothered with. Her boyfriend of two years is working long hours and overall, he is neglectful, forgetful and leaves the planning of their social life in her capable hands. Adding to Carol’s already hectic schedule is her friend Harriet’s foray into online dating and with her abysmal track record, Carol finds herself vetting Harriet’s perspective dates for her. Stretched way too thin, it is only a matter of time before Carol snaps and discovers that perfection is not only exhausting but extremely overrated.

Carol is the perfect daughter, friend and employee. Although she has little free time, she finds it impossible to resist the requests from her family and friends. Throughout the course of the story, Carol halfheartedly tries to refuse everyone’s increasingly outrageous demands, but she has learned it is easier to give in rather than say no. It is frustrating watching her give in time and again, but that makes it all the more gratifying when she finally says enough is enough. Carol takes the time to examine how she reached this point in her life and most importantly, she takes full responsibility for allowing herself to become everyone’s doormat.

Perfect Girl is a fantastic novel that is fast-paced and engaging. Carol is an endearing protagonists and it is impossible not to like her despite how exasperating she is at times. The plot is well-executed and although Michele Gorman takes a humorous approach to a serious topic, she raises valid points that readers will be able to relate to. I highly recommend this vastly entertaining and thought-provoking novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction.

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Pre-Release Spotlight & Giveaway: Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt

For many years of my life, I was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance.”  I was one of the first authors to jump into erotics just as they were bubbling up as a romance subgenre.  I wrote fifteen erotic novels and novellas.  At the time, they were considered the cutting edge of the erotic market, but when we see how erotics have evolved over the past decade into full-on erotica, the old books I used to write seem very tame in comparison.  They’re still fun to read, but they’re so different from what’s available now.

My erotic novella, SEDUCING THE GROOM, originally appeared in an erotic anthology in 2004.  It was priced at an exorbitant $15.00, and the print run was very small, so very few people ever bought it or read it.  It’s sort of a “lost” book for me.  The rights recently reverted to me from my old publisher, so I’m rereleasing the book so everyone will have a chance to read it.  And I hope you will.  It’s a great story that’s extremely well written and very fun to read, but when you remember that—just a decade ago—it was the hottest kind of erotic story out on the market, it’s such a surprise!  I think you’ll all be fascinated.  The world is changing so fast!


seducingthegroomTitle: Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt
Approximate Release Date: October 30, 2014
Genre: Historical, Erotic, Romance
Length: Novella

Summary:

Cheryl Holt celebrates her years as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” with this sexy, yummy, and fun tale of a bride’s seductive antics on her wedding night…

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…


Excerpt

London, 1815…

“Well, good night then, Lord Banbury.”

“Good night.”

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, eventually to be Earl of Stafford if his recalcitrant, impossible father ever dropped dead, glared at the interloper who’d now been his wife for all of ten hours.  The silence extended; the farewell grew awkward.

What repartee, precisely, was a man supposed to express at a time such as this?  Sleep well?  Pleasant dreams?  See you in the morning?  Or how about more aptly, What was I thinking, marrying a woman I don’t know?  Have I gone mad?

Nothing seemed appropriate.  Astoundingly, he blushed, his cheeks heating with an embarrassing dose of discomfort.

The wedding guests were gone, the house had been tidied by what was left of his domestic staff, and he’d been about to leave too, when he’d stumbled upon her floating down the stairs.  She was scarcely dressed, clad in a diaphanous green negligee and robe that hardly covered anything that ought to be covered.  Apparently, as she’d concluded that he was already off to his merrymaking, she’d believed herself to be alone in the massive, drafty domicile.  Unable to sleep, she’d descended to fetch a relaxing refreshment.

Her hair was blond, the shade of ripened wheat.  It was unbound and hanging down her back to brush her bottom, and he was gravely troubled by the display.  She was much too forward and assured, prancing about in her nightwear before an unfamiliar man, yet she didn’t appear perturbed.

Yes, he was her husband, but nevertheless, they were strangers.

Even though he hadn’t meant to, he evaluated her graceful figure.  He was only human!  He couldn’t be expected to avoid looking at what was flaunted in plain sight.

She was much too shapely, and he squirmed uneasily and inspected the floor, only to be confronted by her feet.

Her toenails were painted red!  The splash of bright crimson in the dull salon seemed immoderately sexy, out of place, incongruous and irreconcilable with the individual he pictured her to be.

Ordinarily, he was an urbane, sophisticated fellow, renowned and lauded for his aplomb, his polish and poise and, most particularly, for his way with the ladies.  Yet with his new bride, he’d been transformed into a bungling, gauche oaf.

From the moment earlier in the day, when she’d waltzed into the parlor, promptly at eleven, he’d behaved like an ass.  Throughout the abbreviated ceremony, then the afternoon of toasting and celebration, and the interminable meal that had wrapped up the festivities, he’d constantly tripped over himself, saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, and generally making a fool of himself.

She likely presumed that she’d wed a moronic buffoon.

He was dawdling in the doorway, acting like a simpleton, powerless to depart, but incapable of maintaining any sort of intelligent conversation.

“Don’t let me keep you,” she obligingly said.  Showing him her back, she strolled to the other side of the room, where surprisingly, she helped herself to a stout glass of brandy.

During the excessive, protracted gala, he’d covertly watched her.  When his rowdy, wild friends had still been in attendance, she’d had naught to drink.  While she’d ceaselessly had a beverage in her hand, he’d never seen her take so much as a sip.  So why now?

He was used to consorting with a rather decadent type of lady, so he normally wouldn’t have heeded whether she’d imbibed or not.  Usually, he paid no heed to what a female did or didn’t do.  But it bothered him to discover that she was so nonplussed by events that she could blithely delight in a nightcap.

“Enjoy your…revelry,” she added.  “I’m sure it will be most entertaining.”

From the beginning, he’d recognized that she had a husky, come-hither voice.  When she talked, she always sounded as though she were on the verge of mentioning an indecent proposition.  Thus, it was difficult to focus on the content of her speech, because the words kept getting lost in the sensual timbre of any utterance.

Narrowing his gaze, he studied her rounded behind, trying to deduce if she was mocking him with her flip adieu.  Was she jesting?  Was she serious?

She had to be joking.  She had to be!

Though she’d readily and freely yielded to his ultimatum that theirs would be a marriage of convenience, how could she blandly acquiesce to his rushing out to cavort with others on their wedding night?  Had she no feelings in the matter?  Was she genuinely unconcerned about where he went or what he did?  What woman—what wife!—could be so tolerant, so unmoved?  What kind of person was she?

There was the crux of his problem.  He had no idea.


Author Bio

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author of over thirty-five novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” as well as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at www.cherylholt.com.


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Pre-Release Spotlight & Giveaways: Slow Hand by Victoria Vane

handTitle: Slow Hand by Victoria Vane
Hot Cowboy Nights Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages

Summary:

In rural Montana…
Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots…
Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * BAM * Indigo * IndieBound


Excerpt

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.

“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”

“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”

“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.

“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”

“And what do you think you know about my type?”

“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arms-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”

“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”

“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”

“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”

“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.

“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”

“Authentication?”

“Proof.”

“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”

“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”


Author Bio

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Author Links: WebsiteFacebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Goodreads | Pinterest


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eBook Contest 10/22/14

Here are the eBooks for this week’s Winning Wednesday contest:

chardonnayTitle: A Taste of Chardonnay by Heather Heyford
The Napa Wine Heiresses Series Book One
Publisher: eKensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Word Count: 54,600

Summary:

Join author Heather Heyford as she uncorks a sparkling new series following the St. Pierre sisters, heiresses to a Napa wine fortune who are toasting the good life and are thirsty for love…

Chardonnay St. Pierre’s father is as infamous for his scandals as he is for his wine, and it’s up to Char to restore the family name. The Challenge, an elite charity competition held in Napa, seems like the perfect opportunity for the socialite to cement her image as a philanthropist. But all eyes–including Char’s–are on the Hollywood heartthrob who’s also entered the race…

Long before his face was splashed across the gossip magazines, Ryder McBride grew up in a working-class family in Napa. He knows all about the St. Pierre sisters and their notorious father, and when he learns he’ll be up against Char in The Challenge, he assumes the grape doesn’t fall far from the vine. But the more they get to know one another, the more they begin to realize that nothing pairs better with a heated rivalry than a healthy pour of flirtation…

54,600 Words


fenceTitle: Straddling the Fence by Annie Evans
Clay Hearts Series Book Two
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: Novel

Summary:

Clay Hearts, Book Two

Turned down for her dream job, large-animal vet Bellamy Haile is determined to drown her sorrows at the bottom of a tequila bottle—and underneath the ripped bod of the gorgeous stranger she just met in the liquor store. She’ll have time enough to nurse mild regret later, when she takes over her uncle’s small practice in Serenity, Georgia.

Settled into an old house bequeathed by her grandmother, Bellamy doesn’t expect one of her first vet calls to bring her face-to-face with her one-night stand. Eli Carter happens to live nearby…and he’s more than willing to pick up where they left off.

As Eli and his family welcome her into their hearts and homes, Bellamy experiences a sort of love and acceptance she’s never known. But even hot nights in Eli’s bed may not be enough to make her choose small-town Serenity when a second chance at her dream job comes calling.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


billionaireTitle: Billionaire with Benefits by Anne Tenino
Romancelandia Series Book Two (Standalone)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 443 pages/Word Count: 117,500

Summary:

It’s just a friend thing.

Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is -strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.

Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .

Uh oh.

But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?


Wednesday is contest day on Book Reviews and More by Kathy. Three lucky winners will win the eBook of their choice! Here’s how to enter:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday afternoon:

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winners will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail the winners the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winners will be posted HERE on Saturday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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