Friday Feature, Excerpt & Giveaway: Full Contact by Sidney Halston

contactTitle: Full Contact by Sidney Halston
Worth the Fight Book Two
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 288 pages

Summary:

Sidney Halston returns to steamy Tarpon Springs, Florida, where a hell-raising bad boy prepares to get down and dirty for the woman he loves.

How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?

Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he’s probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.

Add to Goodreads.

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


Excerpt

“Wait here. I want to change.” Jessica said to Slade.

“You look great.”

Jessica looked down at her uniform and guffawed. “Give me a few minutes.” She walked toward the bathroom.

Ten minutes later after brushing her teeth, applying some light make-up, and changing into a black, cotton maxi dress with matching flats, she fluffed up her hair and walked out.

“Don’t you clean up nicely?” Slade whistled. She nudged him playfully on his side with her elbow. “Ready to go?”

She nodded and he took her hand and interlaced his fingers with hers. He didn’t seem to be hiding his affection toward her at all. Slade, who never ever held any woman’s hand or hinted at anything other than the promise of one great fun-filled night, was holding her hand.

She wanted to fist pump, again. Luckily, his grip on her hand prevented her from doing it. Hold it together, dummy.

As soon as they walked out he turned toward her. “Hi”

She smiled. “Hi.”

“Mouth.”

She smiled. He was so sweet yet so…imposing. She leaned forward and lightly kissed him then pulled away.

“I’ve been waiting hours for that mouth of yours. You look so good, and I’m pretty sure you’re wearing something underneath that dress that’s going to drive me crazy later, so, don’t fuck around with me. I want your mouth.” He demanded. His smile was gone, replaced by heated eyes.

She leaned in a little, but just as she was about to kiss him again, he released her hand, placed his big hands on the sides of her neck and brought his lips down on hers. Her eager mouth opened and her greedy tongue met his. It was a quick kiss but it was a brain-numbing, panty-combusting kiss in the middle of the sidewalk right in front of her job.

When he released her, she swayed. He placed his hands on her shoulder to steady her. He leaned down to look at her face. His blue eyes smoldered. They freakin’ smoldered. That’s it! Now she understood why all the women in town dropped their panties when he spoke with them. His blue eyes were absolutely hypnotic and she was completely under his spell.


Author Bio
halstonSidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Tour Stop, Excerpt & Giveaway: Made for You by Lauren Layne

made forTitle: Made for You by Lauren Layne
The Best Mistake Book Two
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 260 pages

Summary:

Three years ago, Brynn Dalton made a rare error in judgment and had a one-night stand with the one man she swore would never get into her designer panties. Will Thatcher was exactly the type of sexy playboy that good girls like Brynn stayed away from. And when Will moved across the country just days after their fling, Brynn vowed to put him behind her, even as the memories haunt her.

Now Will Thatcher is back, and just in time to see Brynn’s perfectly structured life begin to crumble. Her job is dull, her social life is tedious, and Brynn’s perfect cardiologist boyfriend doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get to Tiffany & Co. More than ever, Brynn needs her childhood nemesis to keep his distance.

But Will isn’t content to be Brynn’s dirty little secret any longer. This time, he’s out to show Brynn Dalton that the imperfect man might just be the best mistake of her life.

Add to Goodreads.

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


Excerpt

Brynn huffed. “I don’t know why I bother.”

“Bother with what?”

“Talking to you!” she said, shaking her keys in his face. “Just when I think you’re going to be nice, you get me all . . .”

Will took a small step closer. “Get you all what?”

Brynn swallowed dryly and resisted the urge to take a step backward. He was just inches away, and if she’d been slightly sweaty before she felt downright hot and bothered now.

“Please step away. Your man-stench is making my hair frizz.”

He didn’t move. “You didn’t finish your sentence. I get you all what? Riled? Panting? Hot?”

“I was going to say nauseated,” she snapped, starting to move around him.

He moved his body and blocked her way. “I don’t think so, Brynny.”

Brynn glanced at her watch and winced. Even with Will’s help, she was probably going to be late. In the time she’d spent arguing with him, she might as well have waited for AAA. At least then she wouldn’t be so . . . oh, damn, he was right. She was riled and hot. And possibly on the verge of panting.


Author Bio

Lauren Layne writes contemporary romance for Grand Central Publishing (Forever) and Random House(Loveswept).

After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Lauren moved to New York City where she now writes full time.

Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. She lives with her husband and plus-sized pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

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Tour Stop, Excerpt & Q&A: By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens

winter's lightTitle: By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens
A Cynster Novel
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 352 pages

Summary:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to romantic Scotland to usher in a new generation of Cynsters in an enchanting tale of mistletoe, magic, and love.

It’s December 1837, and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and Catriona Cynster’s home. Led by Sebastian, Marquess of Earith, and by Lucilla, future Lady of the Vale, and her twin brother, Marcus, the upcoming generation has their own plans for the holiday season.

Yet where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind—the festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them, but once bitten, twice shy, Claire believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Daniel, however, is determined to press his suit. He’s seen the love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters—innate matchmakers every one—Daniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.

Meanwhile, out riding on Christmas Eve, the young adults of the Cynster clan respond to a plea for help. Summoned to a humble dwelling in ruggedly forested mountains, Lucilla is called on to help with the difficult birth of a child, while the others rise to the challenge of helping her. With a violent storm closing in and severely limited options, the next generation of Cynsters face their first collective test—can they save this mother and child? And themselves, too?

Back at the manor, Claire is increasingly drawn to Daniel and despite her misgivings, against the backdrop of the ongoing festivities their relationship deepens. Yet she remains torn—until catastrophe strikes, and by winter’s light, she learns that love—true love—is worth any risk, any price.

A tale brimming with all the magical delights of a Scottish festive season.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Harlequin * iBooks


Excerpt

Claire was very—not to say excruciatingly—aware of Daniel Crosbie’s gaze. Of his regard. Of the steady, focused way in which he looked at her.

She wished he wouldn’t—or, at least, her mind told her that was what she should wish. Her emotions—stupid giddy things—were more inclined to be flattered and interested…as she’d said, stupid and giddy. And reckless, too.

Yes, Daniel was a handsome, personable, honest, and honorable man; she wasn’t silly enough to imagine she was in any danger of receiving any indecent or illicit proposal from him.

Which was the point. With his dark brown hair, thick and straight, his lean face that so fitted his long, lean, athlete’s body, and his gentle, intelligent, brownish-hazel eyes, he was too nice, too gentlemanly, too kind—she didn’t want to hurt him by peremptorily depressing any pretensions he might harbor. That she greatly feared he was, indeed, intending to voice.

She liked him and valued the quiet friendship that had sprung up between them too much to want to see it damaged, as it would be, quite definitely, if she was forced to say him nay. If she was forced to dismiss the offer she had a dreadful premonition he was intending to make.

There was no future for her with him—or, more accurately, for him with her. For either of them together. But convincing a gentleman like him of that…

Just the thought made her head and chest hurt.


Q&A with Stephanie Laurens

You state that BY WINTER’S LIGHT is an essential volume for the Cynster novels going forward. Why is that?

One of the critical features of a long-running series is readers’ feelings of returning to places and people they know – of seeing heros and heroines they have come to know as individuals go through the challenge of finding love and marrying the right man or woman for them. Knowing at least one of these characters beforehand – understanding what has made them as they are, what their strengths are, and even more importantly what weaknesses they hide – allows greater interest, empathy, and absorption for the reader.

In the case of the Cynster Next Generation, the children of the Bar Cynster couples, readers know who they are, but have seen very little of them. And as we all know, actions speak much louder than words about the caliber of people, of who they really are beneath the outer glamor. In BY WINTER’S LIGHT, readers see Lucilla, Marcus, Sebastian, Michael, Prudence, and Christopher in action, responding to external pressures and threats, and also to each other, and separately readers also learn more about Louisa and her emerging character.

Readers have more recently seen Lucilla and Marcus act in VISCOUNT BRECKENRIDGE TO THE RESCUE, but now they are a decade older, and we – both the readers and me as author – need to see more of the adults they are shaping up to be, which are insights BY WINTER’S LIGHT affords us. Unsurprisingly, the first pair of Cynster Next Generation romances are those of Lucilla and Marcus, and as they are twins, the stories are tightly linked.

Subsequently, working off the base of their characters revealed in this book, we’ll follow Sebastian, Michael, and Louisa through their romances, and later learn about Prudence and Christopher’s romances, too.

So there’s lots more Cynster novels in the pipeline?

Indeed! Lucilla’s book, THE TEMPTING OF THOMAS CARRICK, is already written, and will be released at the end of February, 2015. It will be followed by Marcus’s story, A MATCH FOR MARCUS CYNSTER, in late May, 2015. Further Cynster novels are scheduled for release in 2017.

There’s an obvious tradition that isn’t included – that of a Christmas tree. Why is that missing?

Christmas trees – the erecting and decorating of them – while echoing the decorating of a house with fir and holly, was a German custom. In the early 1800s, the only major house in England that sported a Christmas Tree was the Duchess of Rutland’s household at Belvoir Castle, because the Duchess was German. Only much later, after the marriage of Victoria to Albert, who introduced the custom of Christmas trees to the royal household, did the custom of Christmas trees become more widely adopted in England.

Victoria married Albert in 1840, so in 1837 in Scotland, the custom of a Christmas had not yet arrived.

If there was one thing you could say to readers when they pick up BY WINTER’S LIGHT, what would it be?

Put your feet up, kick back and relax, and enjoy the holidays Cynsters-style!


Author Bio

laurens#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing romances as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her first novel was accepted for publication, and with entirely becoming alacrity, she gave up writing about facts in favor of writing fiction.

Laurens’s novels are set in the time period of the British Regency, and her settings range from Scotland to India. Laurens has published fifty works of historical romance, including 29 New York Times bestsellers. All her works are continuously available in print and digital formats in English worldwide, and have been translated into many other languages. An international bestseller, among other Stephanie’s email contactsaccolades Laurens has received the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA Award for Best Romance Novella 2008, for The Fall of Rogue Gerrard.

Her continuing novels featuring the Cynster family are widely regarded as classics of the genre. Other series include the Bastion Club Novels and the Black Cobra Quartet. For information on upcoming releases and updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie’s website.

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookGoodreads

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Cover Reveal: Living A Beautiful War by Debra Kayn

beautiful war

Living A Beautiful War by Debra Kayn
Bantorus MC Series Book Eight
Release Date: December 3, 2014

Summary:

Wild women, good times, and easy rides allow Ink to hide the emotional ties he has with Lilly, the daughter of the president of Bantorus Motorcycle Club. With two warnings to stay away from Lilly on his record, his addiction swings wildly out of control and he can no longer bury the past. Either he’s going to lose his club or Lilly will break up her family, and that will destroy them both.

Lilly’s forbidden love for Ink has survived her childhood straight to adulthood. The more she fights for both of them, the closer she comes to finding out what is keeping Ink from claiming her. This time, she wonders if it wouldn’t be best to point her boots toward Pitnam and live the rest of her life knowing she’ll never have the one man she loves.

With Silver Girls under Lilly’s management, the Moroad MC taking favors from Bantorus, and the militia’s orders skyrocketing, Ink’s time is running out. He’s living a beautiful war full of addictions, rules, and heartbreak, and the only one who can save him is Lilly.

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Review: Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

4th streetTitle: Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery
Fool’s Gold Series Book 12.5
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length:336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

There’s nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool’s Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped…

Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of it. That’s why she’s opening her own store in Fool’s Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that’s magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.

Gabriel’s memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugarplums, thanks to his drill sergeant father. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from an injury sounds as appetizing as last year’s eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can’t stop sharing.

Gabriel didn’t think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….

This edition is a reprint and includes the bonus story, Yours for Christmas (reviewed HERE).

The Review:

Christmas on 4th Street is a charming and very heartwarming addition to Susan Mallery’s delightful Fool’s Gold series. In this outing, relative newcomer to Fool’s Gold Noelle Perkins is paired up with Gabriel Boylan, an Army doctor who is only in town for the holidays. What makes this romance so fascinating is the fact they both went through similar experiences, yet their outlook on life is completely opposite. Further complicating their relationship is the fact that Gabriel is not planning on remaining in Fool’s Gold permanently. Will a little holiday magic bring this couple the happily ever after they so richly deserve?

Noelle has experienced more than her fair share of loss, but she embraces life to the fullest. Needing a life change, she moved to Fool’s Gold to open her Christmas shop and the town and its inhabitants welcomed her with open arms. Now with a large group of friends providing emotional support and unconditional friendship, Noelle is eager to move on to the next stage in her life: falling in love and settling down.

Gabriel has avoided spending the holidays with his family for several years, but an injury finds him stateside while he recovers both physically and mentally. In Fool’s Gold to reconnect with his twin brother Gideon, Gabriel is unpleasantly surprised to learn their parents will also be in town for Christmas. His relationship with his father remains contentious, so Gabriel offers to fill in at Noelle’s shop over the holidays.

Gabriel and Noelle share an easygoing friendship, but they both resist giving into the passion that simmers between them. Gabriel is honest that he does not want a long term relationship and Noelle is not willing to settle for a quick fling. Agreeing to ignore their attraction, they enjoy working together and with mutual acquaintances, they also spend time together socially as well.   The shift in their relationship from platonic to lovers is gradual and realistic, but their conflicting viewpoints on love quickly become a point of contention between them.

Christmas on 4th Street is a warm and inviting holiday story that old and new fans of the Fool’s Gold series are sure to enjoy. Despite some series topics, it is mostly a light-hearted romance between two very engaging and likable characters. Susan Mallery fully captures the spirit of the season with a storyline that is very endearing, but it is the fantastic cast of characters and loving community that make it such an outstanding read. Another emotional filled and uplifting novel that I highly recommend.

A quick note to readers: this edition is a reprint and includes the bonus story Yours for Christmas.

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Filed under Christmas on 4th Street, Contemporary, Fools Gold Series, Harlequin, HarlequinHQN, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Susan Mallery