Friday Feature & Giveaway: Lou Sylvre’s Vasquez and James

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Author Bio:

Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s usually smiling and laughs too much, some say. She also loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.

Visit her at http://www.sylvre.com or contact her at lou.sylvre@gmail.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouSylvre

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouSylvre

Twitter: @sylvre

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb(s):

Vasquez-James Series Book Blurbs

Vasquez and James Series Blurb

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share.

 

 

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Blurb(s):

Loving Luki Vasquez – (Vasquez and James Book One)

Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

Excerpt:

Vasquez and James Short Excerpts

Loving Luki Vasquez

Single Whip led into White Crane Spreads Its Wings, the name of which made Sonny adorably… all right fine, adorably happy. The sequence involved motions that at first felt counterintuitive. Like probably every student in the centuries tai chi had been around, Sonny needed help with it. As he would with any other student, Luki stood behind him, using his own hands to guide Sonny through the move. He wondered if he could get away with teaching him all the rest of the moves in just that way. Perhaps for hours. Every day. For a long time.

As he was teaching and wondering and probably even almost smiling, a wind rose up, splashing spray and sand and whipping Sonny’s long hair at Luki’s face and right into his mouth. On the word “open,” appropriately enough.

Sonny spun around, gathering up his luxurious baked-earth red hair. Before Luki had a chance to close his mouth, Sonny kissed him. A passionate, seeking sort of kiss. A kiss that Luki instinctively returned, though kissing wasn’t a large part of his intimate life, and especially not kissing on the beach.

As suddenly as he started it, Sonny ended it, leaving Luki bereft… frustrated and bereft.

Sonny turned away, refusing eye contact. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.” Without any further explanation, he stepped away.

Luki knew fear, could spot it from afar and pick it out in a crowded room. Right now, it ran hot through Sonny’s veins. He reached for Sonny’s arm. “Sonny, what….” What are you afraid of? He ended the question silently. Sonny had already gone.


 

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Blurb(s):

Delsyn’s Blues – (Vasquez and James Book Two)

Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.

Excerpt:

Delsyn’s Blues

As he wandered through his bare rooms, Luki traded the perfect, flawlessly tailored clothing he usually wore even at leisure and donned tattered jeans and a faded flannel shirt. Just what Sonny would have worn, and it helped keep Sonny alive in his mind, a man rather than a thin shade. He’d look a lot better than me wearing this, he told himself, padding over the hardwood floor to the only room in the house he ever smoked in, wondering on the way when the floor had become so cold. Once he got there, he switched on the silent fans and the omnidirectional heat, sank into the leather of the only easy chair in the house, and lit up. In his mind, he could hear Sonny clearly, as if his lover stood right next to him. Or sat by him on their love seat. Or sat on the floor at his knees making drawings for a tapestry he would weave so resplendent the world would probably weep. “You should quit,” he’d say.

Luki knew he should quit. Knew that cigarettes… cigarettes and hamburgers were the only flaws in his otherwise perfect health regime. Smoking would someday, probably soon, take a toll. Perversely, when he met Sonny he’d started smoking more than ever before, just because Sonny’s existence in the world nudged him off his solitary perch, the place where he seemingly rose above the world of emotion and let other men into his life only occasionally to practice his skills at cold but perfectly executed sex. With Sonny? Anything but cold. Although still close to perfect. He smiled at the memory of Sonny’s surprised looks when Luki showed him something new, something that, in all his gay years, he’d never felt.

“Luki, please,” he’d say.

 

 

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Blurb(s):

Finding Jackie – (Vasquez and James Book Three)

Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James finally have their Hawaiian wedding, and it’s perfect, almost. But their three-phase honeymoon is riddled with strife. Luki’s status as a working badass spells discord for the newlyweds. A former informant from Luki’s days with ATFE brings a troubling message (or is it a warning?) from a Mob hit man. When Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over.

The couple put aside their differences and focus on the grueling hunt, which takes them from leather bars to dusty desert back roads, and calls on Sonny’s deep compassion as well as Luki’s sharpest skills. Their world threatens to fall apart if they fail, but their love may grow stronger than ever if they succeed in finding Jackie—before it’s too late.

Excerpt:

Finding Jackie

“You know what, Titus? I don’t want to kill him.” Marcone swept a hand against the cool silk-soft wood of his desktop, thinking of Nadia’s skin. His heart had started beating faster. “I want to show Vasquez why he shouldn’t have been part of anything that screwed with the Marcone name, why he should have made haste to take his fag lover far away the minute he saw there were Marcones involved. This isn’t the first time we’ve opposed one another, but this is the first and will be the last time he’s deliberately involved himself in smearing shit all over my name. I’d have forgiven him everything that came before he realized who Richard and Marina were, if only he’d gone east at that point, instead of racing back west to stick his guns in where they didn’t belong. And I want him to keep remembering, keep feeling the pain he earned with that fuckup, keep that pain with him for years. For the rest of his life.”

“Yes,” Titus breathed, his voice gone low and distant.

“And that won’t be hard either, Titus. I’ve been doing my homework—keeping a watch on him through a variety of sources. He’s got people, and for all his hardass ways, his heart’s like a sponge.”

Titus took a quick breath, and spoke without inflection. “I love people like that.”

The DA’s brows rose, and he smiled. “I know you do, my man. I know you do.”

 

 

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Blurb(s):

Saving Sonny James – (Vasquez and James Book Four)

Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

Excerpt:

Saving Sonny James

Almost whispering, breathing in fearful sounding gasps, Sonny said, “Luki, I want you to fuck me…. No. No, I want you to make love to me.” He looked away then back to meet Luki’s eyes, brow lowered with worry. “Luki, I know—”

“Sh! Hush, baby.” Luki kissed the tender arch of Sonny’s foot—the rest of him being out of reach. He looked at Sonny and nodded. “Yes. I want that too.” [...] With all the power of his mind, he blocked out the things that would get in the way of him loving Sonny—had been getting in the way for weeks. And with all the power of his heart, he focused everything on his husband, his love. His breath beginning to come faster, biting his lip for stability, he rose on one knee and moved toward his husband.

His hands wanted to wander over Sonny’s skin, and he let them. Let them follow the long slender curves of Sonny’s legs, his inner thighs. When he reached his sex, he framed his husband’s familiar and much-missed cock and balls with his hands, but he didn’t touch them. He let Sonny see the smile in his eyes as he instead moved his hands up over hip bones and belly and abs and pecs with their hard puckered centers of dark, sensitive flesh. Once he reached the chiseled shoulders, he lifted Sonny and pressed him against his own chest. And then he took his lips in a kiss like fire.

 

 

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Blurb(s):

Yes – (A Vasquez and James Novella)

Professional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.

As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.

Excerpt:

Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)

[Luki] woke up in profound darkness, aware of Sonny still beside him, but held rigid now while small, strangled noises escaped from deep in his throat. Even if it hadn’t been for the give-away sniffle, Luki would have known. Sonny was crying. Not that “I’m sad” kind of crying that was more a glorified pout. No. Sonny fought for all he was worth not to let a sob fly loose. His heart had a great big, hurting hole in the middle of it, and Luki had put it there, and still Sonny tried to protect him. If he couldn’t stop from crying, by God at least he’d do it quietly and let Luki sleep. But he and Luki had loved too long, too deep, too close for Luki not to hear it anyway, to register it even in his sleep, and understand. And feel it, too, like what Sonny felt.

Luki rolled over and put his arms around the man who, when all was said and done, he loved and would love forever.

 

 

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Blurb(s):

Because of Jade – (A Vasquez and James Novel)

Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.

Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.

Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious claim to Jade threatens the new family, and even if they prevail in court, they could lose their little girl unless they can rescue Jade from evil hands and true peril.

Excerpt:

Because of Jade

Later, while Sonny and Jade lay on the floor in front of the fire, and Sonny read Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman! over and over, Luki paced. He stopped occasionally to look out the window, and just as the sky began to lighten he saw that snow had begun to fall, big flakes touching down soft as feathers to cover the lumpy, frozen ground near the house.

Luki turned around to share the wonder of snow with his family, but they had at last fallen asleep stretched flat on the floor on their stomachs—Jade because of her injuries and Sonny because of his aching back. Luki shook his head and smiled, surprised at how much he loved them even though he knew. He threw some wood on the fire and banked it and fetched a light but warm down comforter and a pillow from the bedroom. Laying himself down next to them, he covered them all three, let his head fall to the pillow, and found first peace, and then sleep.


Tour Dates/Stops:

7/18 – The Hat Party, Kimi-Chan

7/25 – Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Novel Approach

8/1 – Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews

8/8 – Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Fallen Angel Reviews

8/15 – Smoocher’s Voice, Love Bytes

8/22 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nephylim

8/29 – LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Book Reviews and More by Kathy

9/5 – Amanda C. Stone, Emotion in Motion

 

Sales Links:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=551

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lou+sylvre&sprefix=Lou+Syl%2Cstripbooks%2C234

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=series&qString=Vasquez+%26amp%3B+James+Series

 
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Tour Stop & Giveaway: Someone Like You by Karen Rock

 

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You can’t program love…or can you?

Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant “compatibility app,” a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he’s proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?

 

PRE-ORDER

 

Kayleigh’s eyes followed the hostess’s down to the run in her nylon, and she tucked one leg behind the other. “I’m here to meet a man.”

The woman’s eyes widened, and her nose piercing twitched. “Anyone in particular? There are quite a few at the bar.”

Kayleigh felt her forehead bead and started again. “His name’s Niall Walsh. He’s got dark hair…” Her voice trailed off. Did he look the same after his time in the army? She imagined his tall, wiry form and boyish handsomeness.

“She’s with me,” a husky voice interrupted her. She whirled, shocked into silence at the powerfully built man looming beside her. He’d definitely filled out from his military days. Her eyes flicked to his left leg, but not so fast that he didn’t catch her glance, his lips firming in a straight line. Warmth crept into her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to make him feel self-conscious, but she’d gone and done it anyway. Not the best start to their reunion.

“It’s good to see you, Niall.” She searched his eyes, a jolt of familiarity zipping through her veins. The deep brown depths held the gold flecks she could count by heart, his lashes so thick they’d look girlish if not for his angular, masculine features. He’d always had high cheekbones, but now there was sharpness in his face, as if someone had chiseled out his firm, square jaw and the prominent brow that gave proportion to his strong nose and full lips.

His chestnut-colored hair was no longer clipped short, but layered lightly across his forehead and ears. He’d transformed from the young, earnest man she’d known to a hand- some stranger. She flushed despite the steady stream of cool air blowing from an overhead vent. MaryAnne should have warned her about this change. It was doing something funny to her stomach.

“Shall we?” He held out his arm, and she took it, feeling awkward. Once she would have flown into his arms, and he would have swung her, laughing. But those days seemed distant, out of reach. Hopefully, they’d loosen up over lunch. She’d lost so much since she’d last seen Niall—Chris, her job, Brett. She wondered about Niall’s losses and knew the past few years must have been very difficult for him.

They ambled through the nautically decorated restaurant, navigating a maze of dark wood tables. Kayleigh forced her racing thoughts from the man beside her and surveyed the scene. The room resembled the inside of a ship with a wood-slatted ceiling, a brass railing along the oak bar and fishing nets and lures dangling from the walls.

She peeked at Niall’s stern profile. He looked as uncomfortable as she felt. But this was Niall. The boy she’d beaten in a bubble-blowing contest when they were eleven, the teen who’d taught her how to parallel park, the high school senior who’d celebrated with her when they’d been admitted to the same college, the young man who’d promised to write her every day from Afghanistan and then had stopped communicating with her altogether.

In crisp khakis and a white polo shirt that showed off his coloring and broad shoulders, Niall looked great. He was pale, probably from staying indoors as MaryAnne mentioned, but handsome. It felt as though she looked at him through the shifting lenses at an eye doctor’s office. One minute she saw him as her old pal, and the next she glimpsed an unfamiliar man with experiences and secrets she no longer knew. How strange to feel as if she was meeting him for the first time.

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author.  With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit http://www.karenrock.com or follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5!

She’d love to connect with you!

WEBSITE ☆ FACEBOOK ☆  TWITTER ☆  GOODREADS ☆  PINTEREST

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Review: The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont

boy i loveTitle: The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: 288
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

When the boy you love asks you to keep his greatest secret, do you? A thought-provoking, achingly complex novel about prejudice and the many meanings of love from Nina de Gramont, author of Meet Me at the River, which Kirkus Reviews called a “must-read.”

Fifteen-year-old Wren has been content to stay in her best friend Allie’s shadow. It doesn’t bother her that Ally gets the cutest guys, the cutest clothes, and even a modeling gig—Wren is happy hanging with the horses on her family’s farm and avoiding the jealousy of other girls. But when Tim, the most intriguing guy in school, starts hanging out with Ally and Wren, jealousy is unavoidable, but not the kind Wren expects. Because even though Ally is wayyy into him and Wren hasn’t flirted, not one little bit, it becomes increasingly clear that Tim prefers Wren’s company above anyone else’s.

Tim’s unexpected devotion comes at the exact time Wren’s home life is about to be turned upside down. Her parents have just found out that the family horse farm is on land that was once a slave plantation and are struggling with whether to sell it. Wren aches at the thought of losing her horses and leaving town, but at least there is Tim…always a gentleman on their dates. Such a gentleman. Too much of a gentleman, even, and Wren begins to wish he’d be a wee bit less gentlemanly. And as Tim’s church becomes actively homophobic, his pressuring parents don’t understand why he won’t help “spread the word,” and he’s now a wreck. Then he tells Wren his biggest secret, and Wren must decide what she’ll really do for love.

The Review:

The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont is a thought-provoking novel of friendship that touches on a number of relevant social issues. In many ways, it is a typical coming of age story with all of the usual teenage angst and drama. However, through the adroit first person narration of sixteen year old Wren Piner, this ordinary novel becomes an extraordinary tale of friendship and courage that is heartfelt and compelling.

Wren has been best friends with Allie Hackett for most of their lives, but their transition to a new school suddenly strains their close bond. Wren has been content to live in the shadow of her beautiful and popular friend, but when surprising events put Wren in the limelight, she is stunned by Allie’s unhappy reaction. But it is Allie’s jealousy over Wren’s new friendship with Tim Greenlaw that drives a wedge between the girls and they begin to drift apart. While Wren’s feelings for Tim take an unexpectedly romantic turn, he divulges a closely held secret that ultimately brings them closer together.

Wren is very comfortable in her skin and she has a surprising amount of confidence for a teenager. She has a strong moral compass, she stands up for what she believes in and she does not hesitate to voice her opinions. Wren is kind, compassionate and steadfastly loyal with an admirable capacity for forgiveness.  She is dismayed by the situation with Allie, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, she seizes the opportunity to seek out her own interests. Wren is very honest with herself about her own bouts of jealousy and the hopelessness of unrequited love but she never lets either get in the way of her friendships.

Allie is self-centered and since she has had very little disappointment in her life, she is stunned when things don’t go her way. She is unreasonable in her expectations where Tim is concerned and her immaturity over his relationship with Wren leads to the disintegration of their friendship. Allie rebuffs Wren’s attempts to smooth over their disagreement and she begins to make self-destructive decisions.

Tim is an all American boy who is much admired by his peers. Popular and well-liked, this new school year marks a change in his life as he gives up sports to explore his interest in theater. His growing distress over a change is his church’s policy is the driving force in confessing both his secret and the conflicting feelings that go with it. Tim takes comfort in Wren’s easy acceptance of his admission and their friendship easily weathers the difficulties they eventually face.

There are really no surprises about what is going to happen in The Boy I Love. The book summary pretty much lays out the storyline, but the execution of the plot and the depth of the characters are what makes it an outstanding and unpredictable read. Nina de Gramont introduces sensitive topics in a straightforward manner and the characters reactions to the various situations are realistic. While the novel’s target audience is teenagers, I highly recommend The Boy I Love readers of all ages.  It is a meaningful novel with a powerful message of love and acceptance that everyone can relate to.

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Filed under Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Contemporary, Nina de Gramont, Rated A, Review, The Boy I Love, Young Adult

Tour Stop & Giveaway: Double Up by Vanessa North

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Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding–how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.


double upTitle: Double Up by Vanessa North
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 139 pages/Word Count: 37,000

Summary:

Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.

Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.

Read my review HERE.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


Author Bio

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

Join me on the tour and leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card! Be sure to include your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win! I’ll be drawing the winner at the end of the blog tour.

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway:The Southern Sweethearts

sweethearts tb

Welcome to The Southern Sweethearts Blog Tour featuring Laura Drake, Sandra Hill, and Marilyn Pappano.


on youTitle: Sweet on You by Laura Drake
Sweet On a Cowboy Series Book Three
Publisher:Hachette Book Group/Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384

Summary:

A Love as Bold as a Texas Sunset . . .

Ex-army medic Katya Smith has always healed other people’s pain. Now she has to deal with her own. Taking a job as an athletic trainer on the Pro Bull Riding circuit seems like the perfect escape from her grief-except Katya doesn’t know anything about bulls, and even less about the tough men who ride them. She doesn’t expect to fall for the sport, or for one tantalizing cowboy who tumbles her defenses.

For rodeo champion Cam Cahill, fifteen years of bucking bulls have taken their toll on his body. Before he retires, he wants a final chance at the world title-and he doesn’t need some New Age gypsy telling him how to do his job. But when the stunning trainer with the magical hands repairs more than his worn muscles, everything changes. Soon Cam finds himself trying to persuade Katya to forgive her past so she can build a future . . . with him.

Read my review HERE.

Purchase Links: B&N * BAM! * iBooks * Kobo * IndieBound * Google Play * Amazon


Excerpt

Katya looked around the restaurant. Surrounded by trees outside, the interior was exposed timber and glass, giving The Wild Side the feel of a hunting lodge in the woods. The fieldstone fireplace with its cheery gas log fire and the trophy animal heads on the wall carried out the theme.

“Well? What do you think?” Cam smiled at her from across the linen-covered table, the dimple in his cheek deepening.

“That gazelle looks pissed. I think he wants his body back.” The unblinking stare of the animals on the walls gave her the willies, so she kept her eyes on Cam. Well, maybe that wasn’t the only reason. His royal blue Western-cut shirt showed off his washed-blue eyes. The candlelight fractured in them, and she had a hard time looking anywhere else. He’d taken off his hat when he sat down, but it left a mark in his short, hollow-gold hair. She took a sip of her white wine to cool off. God, if he were on the menu, this place would be overrun with women.

He chuckled, and when the waiter walked over with menus, he held up a hand. “Will you trust me to order?” He gave her a one-sided smile, an eyebrow raised in challenge.

“I guess I’ll trust you that far.”

Not much farther though. She had no doubt that smile had separated dozens of women from their panties. Don’t forget, you don’t belong here. Why did she have to keep reminding herself of that lately?


Author Bio

Photo Credit: Jane Carlyle

Photo Credit: Jane Carlyle

Laura Drake grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit, though her stories are set in the west. A tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into Pintos and moved to California. There she met and married a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie and her love affair with the West was born. Laura rides motorcycles: Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100.

In Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and fell in love. She’s an avid fan of Pro Bull Riding (PBR,) attending any event within driving distance, including two PBR National finals. She is hard at work at her next novel.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


snowTitle: Snow on the Bayou by Sandra Hill
Tante Lulu Adventure Book One
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 368 pages

Summary:

THE BAYOU’S BADDEST BAD BOY IS BACK!

Joining the Navy was the second best thing that ever happened to Justin “Cage” LeBlanc, the rebel son of a no-account convict. The first was Emelie Gaudet, the love of his life . . . until he was forced to leave town and swore there would be snow on the bayou before he ever returned. Now, only his mortally ill grandma can bring the injured Navy SEAL back to Terrebone Parrish, where he must face his past-and Emelie, who’s even more beautiful than she was all those years ago.

Bourbon Street blues singer Emelie is once bitten, twice shy. When she learns that Justin is back in town, she wants nothing to do with the once wild Cajun teenager who fled with the law on his tail-and broke her heart. But she can’t deny the red-hot attraction between them . . . or his efforts to prove he’s finally changed his hell-raising ways. Can she trust that this time the bad boy of the bayou will be the best man for her?

Purchase Links: B&N * BAM! * iBooks * Kobo * IndieBound * Google Play * Amazon


Excerpt

Leaning back against the van and spreading his legs so she could fit into the cradle of his hips, Cage realized something in that moment. He had never stopped loving Emelie. He kissed the top of her head…she still used that lemon-scented shampoo…then kissed her chin and the knuckles that continued to hold the packet of letters in a death grip. Pulling a handkerchief out of his back pocket, he used it to wipe the tears off her face and made her blow her nose hard.

Then, he framed her head with trembling fingers that combed into both sides of her hair, and he really kissed her. With all the love and yearning he’d built up over the years. Suppressed emotions exploded in him, emotions he hadn’t even known he’d been suppressing, not this late in the game, anyhow. He was out of control.

Then, Thank you God, she was out of control, too. Somewhere along the way she’d dropped the letters to the ground and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him back with equal fervor.

There was a roaring in his ears, and his mind went blank. His body zapped into sensory overload with each of her soft caresses to his neck and shoulders, with the arching of her body against his, with the opening of her mouth to his deep kisses.


Author Bio

shillSandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


ownTitle: A Love to Call Her Own by Marilyn Pappano
Tallgrass Series Book Three
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 400 pages

Summary:

A LOVE TO CALL HER OWN

It’s been two years since Jessy Lawrence lost her husband in Afghanistan, and she’s never fully recovered. Drowning her sorrows didn’t help, and neither did the job she’d hoped would give her a sense of purpose. Now trying to rebuild her life, she finds solace in her best friends, fellow military wives who understand what it’s like to love-and lose-a man in uniform . . . and the memory of one stolen night that makes her dream of a second chance at love.

Dalton Smith has known more than his fair share of grief. Since his wife’s death, he revels in the solitude of his cattle ranch. But try as he might, he can’t stop thinking about the stunning redhead and the reckless, passionate night they shared. He wasn’t ready before, but Dalton sees now that Jessy is the only woman who can mend his broken heart. So how will he convince her to take a chance on him?

Purchase Links: B&N * BAM! * iBooks * Kobo * IndieBound * Google Play * Amazon


Excerpt

Dalton thought he was just about free to go when the photographer called the wedding party back for pictures, first in the sanctuary, then outside in the warm sun. He hadn’t had to hold a smile for such a long time that his face muscles were starting to protest when the guy decided ten thousand shots were enough.

Finally he could slip out of his jacket. His cattle’s blackand-white coats might keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, but he was about to dissolve into a giant drop of sweat. As the rest of the guests came out of the church to say good-bye to the happy couple, he loosened his tie, then saw Jessy, standing in the shade of an oak, arms folded over her middle, watching him.

God, she’d been watching him all through the reception, and him her. He couldn’t say why he hadn’t approached her, asked her to share a piece of cake, talk with him, dancewith him. Then his gut clenched hard, his chest tightening,and he remembered: because he would have spontaneouslycombusted, and wouldn’t that have been an ugly page inDane and Carly’s wedding album? From the moment he’dwalked into the church and seen her sitting there all beautifuland sexy and focused on him, all he could think was, Is it time? Please, can it be time?

He was surprised God hadn’t struck him down where he stood.

It was stupid, he thought as he walked to her. He was thirty-two years old. He’d been married. He’d had sex with his share of women. Hell, he’d had sex with this woman. But he hadn’t known then what he knew now. Then it had been horniness and loneliness, and any woman who persisted until he was drunk would have satisfied. Now it was . . .

Well, he didn’t know what it was, exactly. Important.

They had something special, a second chance for both of them to make things right, to make each other right. Something to not screw up.


Author Bio

Photo Credit: Mary Walton

Photo Credit: Mary Walton

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

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