Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review of Molly O'Keefe's Between The Sheets

Between The Sheets is an outstanding read! Although this story is different from what I usually read, I found it really well written (I truly had trouble putting it down). Gritty and emotional with plenty of heat. All in all a very satisfying read. I haven't read any of the previous books connected with this particular story but It flowed really well by itself. The fact that I haven't and didn't feel like I was missing out and unable to grasp the story speaks highly for the writing. I was however curious about the secondary characters in this book and will be searching out their stories. I love a book that is connected but is also a true stand alone. So here's to happy reading....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hot Ice by Lynne Raye Harris- Cover Revealed and Giveaway

Hello lovelies! Got a cover reveal and contest today. If you haven't checked out this author yet, add her books to your TBR. Her series, Hostile Operations Team or HOT, is a truly hot series. Check out this cover... It's awesome. The tatts are really inspiring and I'm wondering if they are real or added. Not that it matters. Below you'll find the buy links for the series. There is also a Goodreads link for Hot Rebel that is coming out September 29th and one for Hot Ice coming December 29th. I'm excited for both releases. Hot Rebel will kick off fall and Hot Ice will be an awesome way to close out the year.... So take a moment, check out the summary, add to your Goodreads, and enter to win the entire print series to date, or click and buy. As always, here's to happy reading....

Hot Ice
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Release Date: December 29, 2014

When fire and ice collide, you get steam…

Grace Campbell leads a privileged life. The daughter of a United States senator, she moves within the social circles of the rich and famous. But Grace is also a scientist, and when someone learns she possesses the knowledge necessary to create a new super virus capable of destroying entire nations, she becomes a target for terror groups and foreign governments alike.

Garrett “Iceman” Spencer didn’t join the Army’s elite Hostile Operations Team to babysit a spoiled rich girl, but when his superiors insist on assigning him to a senator’s daughter as her security detail, he has no choice but to comply.

It’s a shock to find that beneath the glasses and serious scowl, Grace Campbell burns hot. And Garrett, who’s been burned before, suddenly wants to immerse himself in the flames.

Keeping Grace alive—and keeping his hands off her—is a full-time job for this HOT soldier. Failure is not an option…

Lynn Raye Harris' Hostile Operations Team Series

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." To date, Lynn's books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

ARC Review of Mary Jo Putney's Not Quite A Wife

I would rate this bokk at about 3 3/4 stars. I love MJP's Lost Lord series. Unfortunately this particular title was not the best. I would give a recommendation for this book but with a caution that the heroine is a little inconsistent. The particular plot involving the wife leaving early in marriage with a reconciliation attempt bringing the characters back together is a popular one. My issue was with the exact reason she left and how easily that objection was overcome. If Lord Kirkland's action were abhorrent enough for a besotted Laurel to leave, how was it possible for her to overcome them and crawl into to bed with said man? Personally, if a wife left over murder, I couldn't see her coming back so easily. The rest of the book was wonderful. Thumbs up to MJP though for her skill at weaving a tale. I'll be waiting for Daniel's story next. Here's to happy reading...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ARC Review of It's In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

It is not very often that I give a 5 star review but today it happened. The lovely Jill Shalvis is supremely talented and her Lucky Harbor series is Fantastic. Yes, It's In His Kiss is book 10, and stretching a series that long can be a risky proposition.  I initially started this book worried that this series might be at a point where it would not be new or fresh. Boy was I surprised by how original this installment felt. From the very beginning it was addictive and I had difficulty putting the book down. No sense of a I've been there and done that. Really, I shouldn't be surprised as Jill wrote the book and her stuff is always great.
 This story is about Sam and the new Lucky Harbor resident, Becca. Their story really drew me in. It was warm, witty, and very sexy. I can totally get behind a man that kills spiders and surfs shirtless. Plus he could comfort and protect. Sigh...Jill Shalvis has some great alpha men.

Once again I am enthralled by this series and can't wait for the next book. It's In Kiss is available 8/26. It's not too late to pre-order your copy today and here's to happy reading.....  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review of The Wickedest Lord Alive by Christina Brooke

Followers of Christina Brooke's writing have been anticipating Lord Steyne's story and we have all been interested in what kind of man he would turn out to be. The vice alone would account him as a wicked man but in previous books he is shown to care for his family. This book answered the questions about the man and Lord, along with providing a few surprises. We have a wicked rogue, a secret bride and a mother who is not the loving ideal. Not to mention an uncle who would love to remove his nephew from the world. It was really a great book but unfortunately I was a bit lost when the Marquis was shown a letter after dinner and then suddenly he was on a roof readying to fight a killer. I may have missed something crucial but it felt like a portion of the book was cut. I also may be mistaken but it sometimes happens and it's not always the writers choice. I loved the whole book but the that particular part threw off the rhythm of the story. I would give this book 4 1/2 stars if not for that issue and as it is I felt that I could only give it 3 1/2 stars and be honest. I truly love Christina Brooke's writing and all her previous books were splendid. I will definitely be looking for more from this author. Here's to happy reading.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laura Kaye's Hard To Hold On To Release Day Giveaway

Hello lovely people! Today we are helping Laura Kaye celebrate the release of her latest Hard Ink Novel: Hard To Hold On To with a giveaway and an excerpt. Hot, hot, hot! The buy links are below along with a link to Goodreads, the giveaway, and the author's social media, email, and website. So check out the excerpt, lengthen your TBR, follow Laura, and order your copy while helping support wounded veterans. It really is a win, win situation. You get a hot book and a chance to support a charity. So here's to happy reading....

Buy at Amazon | | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
About Hard To Hold On To:
Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

 Other Books in the Hard Ink Series:
Hard to Come By (11/25/14)
Hard to Be Good (3/10/15)
Untitled (7/28/15)

Easy tugged down the covers and gestured for Jenna to get in. She chose the side that would allow her to lie on the uninjured side of her face.
“After what you’ve been through, I don’t want to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable,” Easy said.
Propping herself on an elbow, Jenna shook her head. “You won’t. You’re the—” She blanched as if she hadn’t meant to say whatever she’d nearly said.
Which made Easy need to know. He crawled on the bed as if lured by the words. “Finish. That. Sentence.”
She eased back onto the pillow, red hair sprawling around her shoulders like silk, and stared up at him. And it took everything Easy had not to settle himself on top of her and tease the words out with his hands and tongue.
“The only one who makes me feel safe," she whispered.
Satisfaction humming through him, Easy turned and stretched out on his back. Because if he kept looking at her while she was looking at him like that, he might not be able to restrain himself from having what he wanted. A taste. A chance.
None of which she was in any shape for. And given the shitstorm in his head, probably neither was he.
“Good. That’s good,” he murmured, blowing out a long breath. Damn, he was tired. Not just because he hadn’t slept much the night before. But because of the size of the load he’d been shouldering for the past twelve-plus months. If he could only figure out how to put it down. He scrubbed his hands over his face, wishing he could shake himself out of this fucking slump.
If Rimes were here, he’d kick Easy’s ass for being such a morose motherfucker.
But he wasn’t here. Which was the damn problem in a nutshell.
He dropped his arms to the bed and peered over at Jenna.
She lay on her side facing him, hand tucked under her chin, not looking the least bit settled or relaxed.
“Whatchu need?”
“You.” She spoke the word without any hesitation, any doubt, any seeming self-consciousness.
“Have me, Jenna. Whatever you want,” he said, his cock stirring no matter how hard he reined himself in.
Holding his gaze, she moved closer until her head rested on his shoulder and her body trapped his arm between them. And, suddenly, she wasn’t fucking close enough.
“Here,” he whispered, lifting his arm and inviting her closer. And damn if his heart didn’t soar when she fitted herself the rest of the way against him, her face against his throat, her breasts against his ribs, her leg curling up onto his thigh.
He wasn’t sure whose sigh was louder. All Easy knew was that this was the first time in more than a year he didn’t feel alone. Wrapping his arm around her, he couldn’t resist squeezing her in just a little closer.
“Thank you,” she whispered, her breath ticklish against his neck.
He laced his fingers between hers where they rested on his chest. “I gotchu. You just close your eyes and know I’m here.”
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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Hard Ink Puppy FB | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp  | Goodreads

Praise for the Hard Ink Series:

For Hard As You Can:
"TOP PICK! There is a sinister and desperate edge to this tale that will keep readers glued to their seats. Kaye has dark romantic suspense nailed!" ~ RT Book Reviews Magazine

"Hard As You Can is another five star read. The characters Ms. Kaye has created are wonderfully broken and the drama is gritty, but the burgeoning romance and the tight-knitted relationship of the team leaves you with a sense of redemption. A must read series!" ~San Francisco Book Review

For Hard As It Gets:
"Edgy, sexy and full of suspense!  A great read from a great new author!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author J.R. Ward
"Sizzling romance... The intriguing tattoo parlor and military background will appeal to fans of Suzanne Brockmann and Lindsay McKenna." ~Publishers Weekly Review

"Kaye's depiction of sexual tension and her sex scenes are masterful and this will appeal to fans of Maya Banks' KGI and Julia Ann Walker's Black Knight's series." ~Booklist

Monday, August 18, 2014

ARC Review of Sabrina Jeffries How The Scoundrel Seduces

Tomorrow is release day for the wonderful Sabrina Jeffries and I would like to congratulate her. I decided to time my review to coincide with the release rather than doing it early and I've also kept it short. Many of you will be reading this tomorrow so I don't want to give it all away. The latest installment/ upcoming release in her series "The Duke's Men" is titled How The Scoundrel Seduces. Can I say a one word description for her newest book? Fabulous, maybe more than one word, simply fabulous. I found the entire book enticing. The story flowed from beginning to end. We have a dashing rogue/ investigator, a lady with a mystery, white hot chemistry, and a possible would be groom or a possible major disaster looming on the horizon. There is also a fortune and the welfare and livelihoods of many people on the line. The lady and the rogue clash and sizzle but will they find there footing on the path to a happy ending? I gave this book 4 stars and I can't wait for the next book in The Duke's men. Here's to happy reading....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review of The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

So I went through my Tbr and pulled this book. It came out earlier this year and I absolutely try to read everything by this author. So I found time give it a go and review. I have been reading Madeline Hunters books for a while now and have been curious to see where she would take Lydia and the Duke of Penthurst. The final book of the Fairbourne quartet was a bit of a surprise. Not my favorite of the series but an excellent ending to the series. It contains blackmail, a woman of independence (or stubbornness), an autocratic Duke, and a love/ hate relationship. Oh, and lets not forget the steamy scenes. This  story has a perfect amount of passion. It held my interest from beginning to end and although there are times that the lead female drove me bonkers with her missteps, I totally get why she did what she did. There where some twists and turns for the characters but the story works itself out and we find the answers to the mystery of Lakewood. Those who have been following the quartet have been teased with his deeds or misdeeds and no clear answers. Well, we get them and in a full accounting. Our dear Lydia also learns a different kind of excitement other than gambling while Penthurst becomes a little more human and learns that not even Dukes can always have their own way. I would recommend as it was a wonderful read. I gave this story 3 3/4 stars. So here's to happy reading...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review of Susan Mallery's Until We Touch

I'm so excited and will jump right in to this one. I've been a big fan of the Fool's gold series by Susan Mallery for a couple years now. It is a funny, sweet, and steamy series. I feel it contains all the key components of a great romantic series. This latest installment, Until we touch is another fab story in a series that is really great all the way around. I was wondering if things would get old in the series but honestly it keeps getting better. Every new character that comes along is an individual and brings their own set of issues to the story. It makes everyone of the Fool's Gold stories truly unique. The HEA couple are 2 very different people from the Score team, Jack and Larissa. One is totally involved in life, or so it appears from the outside while the other is an observer in many ways. It was really fun reading their story. There were a lot of revelations between the characters and Mallery did a wonderful job bringing her characters to life. I give this 4 1/2 stars and will be anxiously waiting for the next installment that finally features Kenny and Bailey. Here's to happy reading......

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sneak Peek: Shelley Coriell's The Buried and a giveaway

Hello everyone! Hope you guys are having a great summer. Yesterday was my birthday or the marking of another year gone by. This got me thinking about my summer reading list and the fact that it is almost time to move on to my autumn list. I am pretty excited about some of the titles that mark the transition from summer into fall and beyond. This sneak peak couldn't have come at a better time. The Buried by Shelley Coriell is officially a fall release, available on October 28. It is a little early to be anticipating fall but I am ready for the change in scenery and it is never to early to anticipate a good book. The grass is starting to brown up a bit from the heat/ lack of rain and I honestly love the color changes in the landscape that come with the seasons changing, not to mention the cooler temps and the smells of fall. There are also the bonfires and apples. I know we are still in the dog days of summer but I can count the days. Coincidentally the peaking of our leaves here in the Midwest and the release of this book happen at pretty much the same time. I can tell you that I read the first book, The Broken, and it was a great read. I was on the edge of my seat for pretty much the entire book. So the upcoming release makes me a very happy girl. Between fall and the release I have two fabulous events to look forward to, yay! Anyway, below you will find the sneak peek excerpt and the pre-order buy links. I also included the Authors info. Please follow her to stay in the loop and for information on releases and upcoming events. Below that you will find the Rafflecopter giveaway for a bundle of books that happen to be fantastic thrillers. I also have a copy of The Broken, the first book in this series to giveaway. For the Rafflecopter book bundle follow the instructions on the copter and for a chance at a single copy of The Broken just comment on what you are looking forward to reading this fall and follow me. The giveaway for the single book runs until the 21st and I believe the giveaway for the bundle runs through the 22nd.. Don't forget to check back for the winner of the single book giveaway on August 22nd. Thanks and here's to happy reading....

THE BURIED by Shelley Coriell (October 28, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)

"It's cold. And dark. I can't breathe."

Successful, ambitious state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche is at the top of her game. Then she gets a chilling call from a young woman claiming to be buried alive. Desperate to find the victim before it's too late, Grace will do whatever it takes . . . even if it means excavating the darkest secrets of her own past and turning to the one man she thought she would never see again.

FBI agent Theodore "Hatch" Hatcher is a man without roots-and that's the way he likes it. But when a grisly crime shatters Cyprus Bend, Florida, Hatch is dragged back to the small town-and the one woman-he hoped was in his rearview for good. Forced to confront the wreckage of their love affair, Hatch and Grace may just find that sometimes the deepest wounds leave the most beautiful scars-and that history repeating itself may just be what they need to stop a killer . . . and save their own hearts.

Excerpt from THE BURIED by Shelley Coriell (On sale October 28, 2014)
As the bay of hounds tapered off, the huddle of men and women in the parking lot broke, moving swiftly. Hatch, on the other hand, moseyed to her side, his gait slow and easy, but there was nothing conciliatory in his eyes. “You should have told me.” His mouth and jaw barely moved as he spoke.
She tried to ease away, but he moved with her. “Told you what?”
“Hmmmmm, where should I start?” With his free hand, he jammed a finger in the air. “One, you received threats from a convicted felon. Two, you received nine phone calls from a girl presumably buried alive. And three, as we speak, a forensic team is sifting through dirt in your backyard looking for human bones.”
“It’s none of your business.”
“Oh, Princess. Dear, dear Princess.” He moved closer, a big, graceful, golden cat. He stopped a hairsbreadth from touching her, but the heat of his skin warmed her, nipping at the chill that had set in yesterday with Lia’s phone calls. When he spoke, his breath fanned her face in a low, rumbling half-purr, half-growl. “You have been and always will be my business.”
The words, the closeness, so Hatch. For a moment, she considered sinking into his strength and warmth, which proved how deeply rattled she was by the past twenty-four hours.
Hatch didn’t seem to notice the crazy thoughts flitting around her brain. He grabbed her elbow and led her toward a sheriff’s department SUV.
“I’m not going home.” Her boots dug into the damp earth.
Hatch opened the SUV’s passenger door. “I wouldn’t dare suggest it.”
“I’m involved in this.”
“That’s obvious.” He pointed to the seat.
“Where are we going?”
“Into the swamp to search for Lia Grant. Together.”
The humid air had left her hair a riot of waves, and she jammed a wayward curl behind her right ear. Together wasn’t hard for her. She was a team player when she had to be, and Lia Grant needed the biggest team they could muster, and frankly, Hatch was on a winning team. She’d be an idiot not to ally herself with him. She hopped in the SUV. “Where to?”
He reached into his pocket and took out a coin. “Call it in the air?”
“Wait! You’re going to let a coin toss determine our course of direction, which could very well determine if a girl lives or dies?”
Hatch fingered the coin. “Do you have a better plan?”
“Surely there’s a more systematic way to handle this. What does Agent MacGregor recommend?”
An enigmatic smile tugged at Hatch’s mouth. “Like all of us on Parker’s team, Jonny Mac understands the value of a good coin toss.” Hatch tossed the coin in the air, adding. “Heads we go right, tails, left.”
She snatched the coin in mid-air. Decades of tennis had done wonders for her hand/eye coordination. “I don’t think so.”
Hatch swept his hands at the dense forest stretching out behind the bait shop. “Fine, Princess. Lead and I shall follow.”
Grace cradled the coin in her palm. She’d already played the phone messages from Lia, listening for ambient sounds, ideally something like a jet plane, which could be tracked. But in all of the voicemails, she’d heard nothing but Lia’s increasingly desperate words.
I’m in a bad place, a really bad place.
A hand settled on her knee. Golden and steady. This was not Hatch her ex-husband but Hatch the Apostle. Hatch who was a master in a crisis situation. She ran her thumb over the face of the coin, and with quirked lips tossed it in the air. The coin spun and fell on the ground between them.

“Left.” Hatch pocketed the coin and with a seriousness she’d never seen from him, climbed into the SUV and drove into the swamp to find a girl who’d been buried alive.

Buy Links:

Note from the author
When I was five or six, I got out of bed one night to get a drink of water. As I walked by the living room where my mom and dad were watching TV, a woman on the screen was clawing her way out of an earthen grave. The sight of that mud-covered hand and sound of her choked breathing left me frozen with fear.
For years I had nightmares about being buried alive. I’d wake up cold and shaking and gasping for air. To this day, I fear not being able to breathe. So of course I wrote a book about it!
In THE BURIED, Grace Courtemanche—an ambitious, successful state prosecutor—is pulled into a world of terror and self-doubt when she receives calls from victims buried alive, and she must turn to the one man she swore she’d never need again, Hatch Hatcher, a rootless, smooth-talking FBI crisis negotiator in town to deal with a long-buried secret of his own.
Grace and Hatch’s story, book #2 in the Apostles Series featuring Parker Lord’s elite FBI team, was a tough one for me to write. I actually had to set it aside for two years because it was too dark. But when I finally figured out what the story was really about—family—I found my light, and even a bit of laughter, to balance all that dark.
I can’t wait for readers to join me for another dark and twisty but ultimately uplifting story of hope and the healing power of family.

-Shelley Coriell

About the author:
A former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days Shelley writes smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, she lives and loves in Arizona with her family and the world's neediest rescue Weimaraner. When she's not behind the keyboard, you'll find her baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review of The Secrets of a Scoundrel by Gaelen Foley

This is probably one of my favorites from The Inferno Club series by Gaelen Foley. Partly because it surprised me but really because it was just a  good book. I have actually been a fan of her work for a few years now and going in to this book I had to wonder if this was going to be a flop. I may have been feeling a bit judgmental towards the hero. The male lead character, Baron Forester has a shady history within the order. He has worked as a mercenary and worse. He has also tried to leave the orders service and that has left the readers of the series wondering who's side he is really on. I for one have questioned his loyalty even though the end of the previous book tried to give some hints as to where he stood. I have also really wondered how he could have kept a fellow agent and close friend captive. I was not a fan of Nick, Baron Forester, going in. I got some answers in this story and can now say that I loved this book and it's hero. The story opens with Nick in prison paying his dues for this act of treachery. The reader is given great personal insight in to his frame of mind, this in particular won me over. Then Virgil, the beloved spymaster from previous books that died earlier in the series, has left a legacy of sorts in the form of a daughter, Virginia, and a mysterious book. Danger and intrigue ensue and a romance rapidly unfolds between the main characters. I had a little trouble with the speed at which their bond developed but it worked. I am still a fan of Foley and will definitely be waiting for her next book. Here's to happy reading.....

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dark Sacrifice By Angie Sandro Review

Hello fellow readers and all around lovely people. I am so happy that I got a chance read and review Dark Sacrifice by Angie Sandro. I have been surprisingly busy this summer. Somehow a monstrous amount of things are going on even though it was supposed to be a semi lazy summer. How this happened I am still trying to figure out.  I am going to quit whining about my lack of time (a problem many people have) and move on to the review. Although I was given an ARC through Netgalley, I was delayed and couldn't post an early review due to something unforeseen coming up and throwing my whole schedule off. Though my review is a bit late it is still release week. Yay me! I am catching up.That makes me happy. Anyway, last month I was given the opportunity to read the first book in this series, Dark Paradise. I had a little trouble in the beginning but then I was hooked. Really truly stuck on the book and waiting for the next. I decided then that Angie Sandro was going to be an author to watch. Her books will appeal to people who like the southern vampire mystery series or from what I am told, Beautiful Creatures. Maybe even fans of the Chicagoland vampire series. No there aren't any vampires, it is a vibe from the stories. They aren't really the same in anyway except that they are both paranormal and there are mysteries to be solved. Like I said it's a vibe. This latest installment of the series has left me feeling the same as the first, anxious for the next book. I liked it so much that I am planning my review schedule around the release of book three and my finals. Dark Sacrifice is a 4 1/2 star book in my opinion. I would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal-suspenseful romances and If you are interested there is an excerpt and blurb for this book on the previous post. Thanks and here's to happy reading......

Buy Links

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Angie Sandro's Dark Sacrifice Release Day Blitz

Hi lovelies! Hope this day finds everyone well. I am plugging along in that final crunch time right before school starts. I still have my sanity but will it last another week? I do love my family despite all the current madness. Enough about me and on to the really important news. Today we are helping Angie Sandro celebrate the release of her new book Dark Sacrifice. Congratulations to Ms. Sandro on her new release and below you will find an excerpt along with buy links. I will be honest and say I have really been looking forward to this book. The first book, Dark Paradise, was fantastic. So without further ado, here's to happy reading..... 
Mala LaCroix sees dead people -really. After using her psychic gifts to catch a killer, she's locked in a psych ward and must strike a deal with the devil to secure her release. Apprenticed to a dark arts practitioner, Mala vows to free herself and save her loved ones from danger. But she doesn't know who to turn to when her crush on Landry Prince turns into something more serious.


Landry has sacrificed everything to protect Mala. A near-death experience changes him forever, and now he, too, possesses supernatural powers he doesn't understand. Mala and Landry must band together to defeat the dark forces-both human and otherworldly-who would use their abilities for evil. Even as they fall for each other, they must prepare to battle for their very souls . . . 


On Saturdays, the local farmers set up a market in Paradise Park. I plan to do my veggie shopping there since I didn’t get my garden planted this year. The streets bordering the park are packed. I’m lucky to find a spot in the parking lot of First National Bank kitty-corner from the Memorial Rose Garden. Colorful tents are lined up in orderly rows in the square. Each section is separated, with the organic foods in one row and regular folk who want to sell extra produce in the other. Local shops also set up booths selling everything from pastries, coffee and tea, handmade clothing and soaps, fresh eggs, organic meat, and toys and games. A freaktastic clown stands on the street corner with a tank of helium and a gaggle of kids around him. I’m tempted to buy Landry a balloon to cheer him up.
The passenger door slams shut as soon as I shut off the engine. Landry wastes no time coming around to open my door and lift me to the ground before I can squawk in protest. He strides off while I grab my cloth shopping bag, leaving me to stare after his retreating back in shock. When he’s halfway across the street, he pauses and turns around.
“This is your idea. Hurry,” he yells.
“I’m coming.” I shut the door and run to catch up. When I reach him, he moves around me until I’m on his blind side. He starts forward again, but slows his steps so they match mine. If I didn’t know him so well, I’d think he didn’t have a care in the world, but I do. He walks like he did in jail—shoulders back and tight, chest slightly raised. He scans the area, alert for a threat.
I take his hand, squeezing when he tries to pull away.
We blend into the crowd, strolling up and down the rows. It’s a mix of people of all ages. A few people say “hi.” Most don’t. A large percentage of them stare. I feel like I’m at the mercy of paparazzi.
“Smile and wave,” I mutter from the corner of my mouth, jabbing Landry in the side with my elbow.
“You’re acting like you’ve done something wrong, but you haven’t. Don’t let these fools see you sweat. Weakness breeds violence. Like a silverback gorilla in the jungle, you need to beat your chest and fling your poop at someone.”
His snort-laugh doubles him over, and I pat him on the back. “That’s perfect,” I say. “No worries.”
He turns and lifts me into a breath-stealing hug. “Thanks,” he whispers in my ear and presses a brotherly kiss to my forehead. Wish he’d move his lips a little lower. Would a few inches kill him?
My voice comes a little thick and raspy too, and I cough to clear my throat. “No problem.”
How long has he been standing here holding me? We have an even larger audience than before. Now we really are the object of paparazzi-like behavior as people snap pictures of our embrace with their phones. I wrap my arms around his neck and press my cheek against his. “Cheese,” I say, grinning for the cameras.
A couple of high school kids start to laugh.
One yells, “Give her another kiss, Landry.”
“Yeah, Landry. Give me a kiss.” I bat my eyelashes, whispering in his ear, “I swear if you drop me on my ass in public—”
I don’t have to finish the threat.
His mouth steals across mine.
I lean into him, head tilting. My arms tighten around his neck. His lips are soft and juicy, like peaches. Yum. My thoughts scatter and swirl, leaving only the sensation of his mouth on mine.
He breaks free first and lowers me to my feet. He avoids my gaze. “Did it work?” he asks, running his fingers through his black hair so it falls forward to shield his eye again. He shifts from his forward foot to his back which somehow puts distance between us without him having to move.
I laugh, playing off the hurt. “Yeah, we gave our fans a titillating bit of new gossip to take the place of the old. Rumors about our relationship will be flying through town before lunch.” I glance around to be sure. The crowd drifts away, realizing there’s nothing more to see. Even better, nobody hurls insults or throws dead animals at our heads. “Let’s go.”

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About Angie Sandro
Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in 
Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.
Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story. Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.

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