Tour Stop, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Match for Marcus Cynster by Stephanie Laurens

match marcusTitle: A Match for Marcus Cynster by Stephanie Laurens
Cynsters Series Book 23
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 448 pages

Summary:

Duty compels her to turn her back on marriage. Fate drives him to protect her come what may. Then love takes a hand in this battle of yearning hearts, stubborn wills, and a match too powerful to deny. #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to rugged Scotland with a dramatic tale of passionate desire and unwavering devotion.

Restless and impatient, Marcus Cynster waits for Fate to come calling. He knows his destiny lies in the lands surrounding his family home, but what will his future be and with whom will he share it?

Of one fact he feels certain: his fated bride will not be Niniver Carrick. His elusive neighbor attracts him mightily, yet he feels compelled to protect her—even from himself. Fickle Fate, he’s sure, would never be so kind as to decree that Niniver should be his. The best he can do for them both is to avoid her.

Niniver has vowed to return her clan to prosperity. The epitome of fragile femininity, her delicate and ethereal exterior cloaks a stubborn will and an unflinching devotion to the people in her care. She accepts that she cannot risk marrying and losing her grip on the clan’s reins to an inevitably controlling husband. Unfortunately, many local men see her as their opportunity.

Soon, she’s forced to seek help to get rid of her unwelcome suitors. Powerful and dangerous, Marcus Cynster is perfect for the task. Suppressing her wariness over tangling with a gentleman who so excites her passions, she appeals to him for assistance with her peculiar problem.

Although at first he resists, Marcus discovers that, contrary to his expectations, his fated role is to stand by Niniver’s side and, ultimately, to claim her hand. Yet in order to convince her to be his bride, they must plunge headlong into a journey full of challenges, unforeseen dangers, passion, and yearning, until Niniver grasps the essential truth—that she is indeed a match for Marcus Cynster.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * BAM!


Excerpt

They hadn’t made it to that road yet, but at least they were moving in the right direction.

But then autumn had set in and winter had followed, and the snows and storms had kept everyone indoors. The pace of work naturally slowed to a crawl, and suddenly, the younger men who’d been kept busy all summer had time to think.

Too many had chosen to think about her.

Because she was still unwed.

What the dimwits failed to realize was that, as lady of a clan—especially a clan like the Carricks, especially given the straits the clan was in—marriage was not in her cards. She was the only remaining member of the original Carrick line, while the rest of the clan was composed of many families who, through the passage of generations, were now only distantly related by blood, yet they were held together by common purpose and cause and a common share in the clan estate. The clan had elected her to lead them for a very good reason—namely, that she was the only one all the clan families would agree to follow.

And that was the critical point. The clan followed her.

Any man offering for her hand would expect that he would be entitled through their marriage to assume leadership of the clan.

Cynster QuoteThat wasn’t going to happen, because she would never allow it to happen. She’d been entrusted with the position of Lady, and it was incumbent on her to always act for the good of the clan—and the good of the clan meant her keeping ultimate control of all clan matters.

After all she’d seen of the weaknesses of men, she wouldn’t trust any man with the clan’s reins, and there wasn’t a man born—or at least not one she might consider marrying—who would agree to take second place to her.

She’d accepted her unmarried state as inevitable—more, as desirable, at least for her. She still had her vow to her father to fulfill, and she would never let that go.

Unfortunately, several men in the clan, her age or older and as yet unwed themselves, had decided to vie for her hand. She’d tried to make clear that her hand wasn’t on offer to be claimed, but none of them believed her. Others in the clan, wiser heads, understood, but not the younger hotheads who seemed to have convinced themselves that if they just pushed her harder—did something wilder—she’d develop a lasting tendre for them and gladly surrender her hand and the clan.

That afternoon, looking forward to a peaceful ride, she’d walked into the stable yard and had come upon Clement Boswell and Jed Canning violently wrestling in the middle of the yard. Over her. They’d been yelling insults at each other and taking liberties claiming various favors from her—favors she had never granted.

They hadn’t seen her in time to shut up.

She’d wanted nothing more than to knock their heads together, to knock some sense into them, but she was a slip of a thing against their tree-trunk forms. Instead, she’d lost her temper and had screeched at them to stop.

They had, eventually, but by then she’d felt like a harridan and a shrew.

She’d clambered onto Oswald’s back in a fury with all men.

Luckily, the horse was a gelding.

Sean ambled up on his black and drew rein. He sat his horse alongside her and didn’t say a word.

He and the other clan elders understood, but even they were unable to help her—not in this.

She needed a champion, someone to take her side, to do what, as a delicate and fragile-looking female, she was unable to accomplish—namely intimidating her would-be suitors into accepting the truth, respecting her station, and leaving her alone.

She couldn’t call on Norris. He’d settled in comfortably to a life as an assistant to a history professor, and had secured a position teaching students at St. Andrews. It was a new and promising start for him. Besides, he wasn’t…man enough, old enough, impressive enough for her needs. She needed a man willing and able to fight for her, to defend her position.

Oswald shifted beneath her. Instinctively settling him, her gaze sharpened on the vista before her.

If you ever need help, remember that you can always call…on me. If you are ever in need, please don’t hesitate—just ask…

It had been nearly two years, but she could still hear Marcus Cynster’s deep voice saying those words. She knew he’d meant them.

And she could no longer pretend that she didn’t need help. The sort of help he could give.

She’d avoided even seeing him for what still ranked as an excellent reason, yet if she was to do what her clan needed her to do…

Gathering her reins, she glanced at Sean. “Wait here. I won’t be long.”

With that, she tapped Oswald’s side and headed down the rise to call on her nemesis.


Author Bio

s laurensNew York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens originally began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career; she has been writing historical romance novels for more than 20 years. Currently living outside Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two cats, she spends most of her days writing new stories in her signature ‘Errol Flynn meets Jane Austen” style.

Author Links: Website * Facebook *


Giveaway

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Follow the rest of the tour HERE to read all of the experts in chronological order.

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Review: Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler

absolutely trueTitle: Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A fledgling entertainment writer stumbles into the gig of a lifetime writing a teenage pop star’s memoir and soon realizes that the young celebrity’s squeaky-clean image is purely a work of fiction.

Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home to upstate New York when she gets hired to write the memoirs of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former Nickelodeon child star who has moved seamlessly into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Holly quickly realizes that Daisy’s wholesome public image is purely a work of fiction, as Holly finds herself trailing the star as she travels around the world on yachts, gets stalked by paparazzi, and sneaks out of five-star hotels in the dead of night.

As Holly struggles to write a flattering portrait of a teenage millionaire who only eats “nightshades” and treats her employees like slaves, Daisy has a public meltdown—and suddenly, her book is the cornerstone of resurrecting her image. But working at all hours trailing a pop star has taken its toll, and Holly must decide if becoming the ultimate insider is worth losing a starring role in her own life.

Fun, juicy, and inspired by Rachel Stuhler’s own stranger-than-fiction experiences as a celebrity ghost writer, Absolutely True Lies is an entertaining look at how the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren’t always what they seem.

Review:

Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler is a highly entertaining behind the scenes look into the life of a popular teen actress. When out of work Holly Gracin is hired to ghostwrite teen star Daisy Mae Dixson’s memoir, she is ill-prepared for the utter craziness that lies ahead.

For someone who has been living and working in L.A. since she graduated from college, Holly is somewhat naive and completely lack in guile. She also has NO idea what she is getting herself into when she signs on to write Daisy’s biography. Holly is in full blown panic mode for about the first half of the novel as she tries to navigate the unfamiliar waters of both her job and Daisy’s over the top lifestyle. Things go from bad to worse when she refuses to stand up for herself after Daisy’s manager begins to take advantage of her. Holly is also struggling to get the information she needs to write the novel and when she does finally hit her stride, Daisy’s outrageous antics result in a very public scandal that could destroy her wildly successful career.

At first, Daisy appears to be just as presented: wholesome, vapid and superficial. But then Holly gets a few glimpses of the spoiled and demanding starlet who cannot be bothered to remember the crew member’s names or show up on time to the set. Daisy lets everyone else make decisions for her and she is woefully out of touch with the real world. When Holly travels to Italy with Daisy and her entourage to film an episode of her TV show, Daisy completely falls apart and she quickly goes from media darling to tabloid fodder.

Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler is mostly a light-hearted, fun read but there is also a surprising amount of depth to the storyline. It is a well-written book with an interesting cast of characters, a charming plot and an unexpected romance. A delightfully unique novel that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.

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The Week Ahead May 25-30

Here’s a look at what’s happening this week at Book Reviews & More by Kathy:

This week’s book reviews:

May 25: Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler (New Release)
May 26: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (New Release)
May 26: The Marriage Season by Linda Lael Miller (New Release)
May 26: Letting Go by Jessica Ruddick (New Release)
May 28: The Loved Ones by Mary-Beth Hughes (Upcoming Release June 2)
May 28: A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart (Upcoming Release June 2)
May 29: Delivered Fast by Annabeth Albert (New Release)

Blog Tours:

May 25: Stephanie Laurens
May 26: Joy Lynn Fielding
May 27: Carol Pavliska
May 28: Jennifer Chance

Winning Wednesdays (May 24) eBooks up for grabs are:

Under the Lights by Shannon Stacey
Boots and the Bachelor by Myla Jackson
Evac by Michael Murphy

Click here for more info on entering the eBook contests.

This week’s Friday’s Feature: Annabeth Albert.

This week’s Saturday Series Spotlight is Jessica Lemmon’s Second Chance and contest for one of the books in the series (winner’s choice).

Have a great week!!

***All the eBooks in this week’s Winning Wednesday & Saturday Series Spotlight giveaways have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Saturday Series Spotlight & Giveaway: Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Cops

fire and waterTitle: Fire and Water by Andrew Grey
Carlisle Cops Series Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 200 pages

Summary:

Carlisle Cops: Book One

Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.

Overhearing one of the officer’s comment about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.

Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.


fire and iceTitle: Fire and Ice by Andrew Grey
Carlisle Cops Series Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance,
Length: 200 pages

Summary:

Carlisle Cops: Book Two

Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.


Giveaway

I am giving away one eBook from the Carlisle Cops series-WINNER’S CHOICE. Here’s how to enter the Saturday Series Spotlight contest:

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 Monday 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 winner will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail one lucky winner the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winner will be posted HERE on Tuesday.

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

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Friday Feature & Giveaway: When Love Happens by Darcy Burke

when happensTitle: When Love Happens by Darcy Burke
Ribbon Ridge Series Book Three
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 245 pages

Summary:

In a town as small as Ribbon Ridge and with a family as large as the Archers, even the best kept secrets don’t stay buried for long…

Tori Archer is married…well, on paper anyway. She hasn’t actually seen her husband since the disastrous morning after their impulsive Vegas wedding. The memories of their intense passion may still make her weak in the knees, but Tori knows their marriage was a mistake.

After six months filming abroad, television producer Sean Hennessy wants nothing more than to track down his sexy, captivating wife and get her into bed… fast. So when his boss sends him to Oregon to persuade the famous Archer sextuplets-the former stars of a reality TV show-to do a reunion special, Sean sees the perfect chance to win Tori back.

Only, Tori wants nothing to do with him and is determined to push him away. But their attraction is as hot as ever and Sean will do anything to prove their relationship was more than just a fling…because he knows that when real love happens, it changes everything.

Add to Goodreads.

Add series to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

Bollocks. Sean would rather jump right back on a plane to Europe and the shitfest he’d just left than go to Oregon. But maybe, just maybe, Mike didn’t mean what Sean thought he meant. Portland had a rousing film and television scene. There could be any number of projects in need of his services. “Why?”

Mike readjusted his sunglasses atop his dark blond head. “Dale came up with an idea he’s completely in love with and you’re the man to make it happen. He wants a ‘Where Are They Now’ special about the Archers. Following up on the sextuplets America fell in love with fifteen years ago is a great angle, but since one of them committed suicide, he thinks it’s ratings gold.”

Sean’s stomach dropped clear into the lower level parking garage. “I am not the man to make this happen, Mike.” In fact, he was about the last man who could make it happen.

Mike leaned his hip against the counter and crossed his arms. “Why not? You’re married to one of the sisters. You have the perfect in.”

Yeah, they were married, but for how long? The last time he’d talked to his wife—via email of course—she’d mentioned the D word. Sean hadn’t responded. He’d hoped they’d find a way to make it work, but after so many months apart, piss-poor communication, and then her suggestion that they just call it quits, he wasn’t sure he had any fight left in him.

“It’s not been much of a marriage. In fact, we’re probably splitting up.” Hell, they’d been split up since their wedding day. He’d seen her once, visiting her in San Francisco before he’d left for Europe, only to have her shut him out cold.

“If it’s not much of a marriage, why is her picture on your fridge?” Mike nodded toward a photo of Tori at the wedding chapel in Vegas. God, she was beautiful. Her auburn hair hung to her breasts in gentle waves that she’d painstakingly curled before the ceremony, her blue-green eyes shone with anticipation. Getting married had been a lark, but they’d both agreed it had felt right. And it had. Until the next morning . . .

“Because I’ve been in Europe the last six months.” Sean pulled the picture down and shoved it in a drawer. “Look, I know you think I can make this show happen with Tori, but I’ve got no advantage there.”

Their marriage had been over before it had even started. Her brother had killed himself the morning after their wedding, and she’d been understandably devastated. Her grief had completely eclipsed their joy and robbed her of any desire to make their marriage work. Fast forward seven months and it was time to call it what it was: a mistake.

Mike uncrossed his arms and took another drink of beer. “I’m sorry things aren’t working out with you guys, but you know Dale won’t give a shit. He’s got a hard-on for this special. You know how he is when he’s got his mind set on something.”

Yeah, he did. Dale was an utterly immovable object. As well as a massive wanker. “What happens if I don’t deliver?” When, not if.

Mike glanced out the window and when his gaze returned to Sean’s, it held a glimmer of regret. “I’ll have to let you go. As it is, I have to let someone go, and it’s between you and Hollis.”

“Hey, I’ve got seniority,” Sean said. Hollis had only been with the company a little over a year. “Just let her go. It’s a no brainer, right?” She was a bundle of ideas and energy, fairly fresh out of school, and absolutely bonkers.

“It is for me—I’d choose you in a heartbeat. She’s a micromanaging nightmare. But it isn’t up to me. You’re both getting projects that are do or die. Whoever delivers first or best gets to keep their job.”

Do or die. No ambiguity there.


Author Bio

D BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

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Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux

pinch gameTitle: The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux
Release Date: June 24, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery Length: Novella

Summary:

Being a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them.

Pre-Order Link (Available June 24): Dreamspinner Press


Excerpt

If Sal had sent someone after me, a short trip up to Seattle might be a good idea, maybe even BC. That called for some new clothes, so I grabbed my battered gym bag—my quick escape kit—and was almost home free when the kitchen door burst open. It would’ve been dumb to turn off the light when the goomba first went to work on the lock—I can’t see any better in the dark than your average Daisy, not when I’m blocked. Once that massive body filled the doorway, I wished I had. Wished I’d done something.

He hesitated, barely a moment, and I bolted for the front door. He grabbed me before I made it out of the kitchen and pinned both of my arms to my sides. It wouldn’t work, I knew that, but I still tried to burn his hands. All I needed was enough time to—fuck, is he laughing?

“Give it up, pretty boy. You’re blocked.”

The big man pushed me against the wall face-first and pulled both hands behind my back.

“Hey, wait a sec, big guy. Let’s talk about this. I can—”

He pushed me flat against the wall, and the rest of that sentence disappeared in the rush of air he squeezed from my lungs. I couldn’t help being turned on, even though pain and domination usually aren’t my thing. Neither are bears, but underneath the padding he felt nice and solid, leaning full against me. He tightened a plastic zip tie around my wrists with shaking hands. And then he held me there.


Author Bio

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Author Links: Blog * Facebook * Fan Page * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Email


Giveaway

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