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Starting the Burn

Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance Book Cover Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance
(Cole Brothers Series, #1)
Diana A. Hicks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hicks Media Group, Inc. (2 Nov. 2019)
Publication date: November 1st 2019

Dom Moretti.
Former mafia hitman.
God’s gift to women.
Brilliant lawyer.

Those were just a few reasons why I hated Dom in law school.

Tonight…

I hate his panty-melting stare, his wicked smile, and that loose-hip stride of his.
I hate the way his biceps stretch the sleeves of his tailored suit.
I hate that after two years, I can’t stop thinking about the almost kiss in the library.

So when he sits at my bar, acting like he doesn’t remember me, I do what any woman would’ve done in my position.

I agree to a midnight hookup with the great Dom Moretti.

Ignite You is a steamy, slow-burn mafia romance that can be read as a standalone. It is book one in the Cole Brothers series. Previously released as Love Over Logic

I have read this book now twice but I still found it less interesting than the rest of the series.

I think it is because of the scene setting that is done for the Cole Brothers and their backgrounds.

For me, Diana Hicks is one of those authors whose writing gets better the further into a series she goes.

And also, I guess, Mafia Doms are not in my ‘hit’ list!

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Rock on – and laugh with the Band!

Random Acts
Julia Kent
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 25, 2013

It may have all started with a hitchhiker wearing a guitar - and only a guitar - but now the band’s on the rise, and every member - Trevor, Joe, Liam, Sam, and Frown - has a story.

A love story.

From working the “day job” in creative ways to pay bills to engagements gone awry to second chance romances and breakups that make Mavis the Chicken return along with the ever-assured Happily Ever After, this wild and crazy ride leaves you filled with HOPE, screaming YES, and so full of LOVE.

This boxed set contains Random Acts of Hope, Random Acts of Yes, and Random Acts of Love, books 4, 5 and 6 in the New York Times bestselling Random series by Julia Kent.

Note: Random Acts of Yes was previously published under the title Randomly Ever After: Sam and Amy.

I just had to read this one as the guys were mentioned in the Complicated series. And here we have a band. A rock band. And this one gets into some serious scrapes, especially as their intake of drink and drugs is fairly fluid – as are their sexual escapades.

But all the time, Julia Kent manages to make you laugh at their antics and the trouble they get into. And then the proposals.. they are quite sigh-worthy especially when they go wrong – as with so much of their life – and social media gets involved. The chicken called Mabel is a brilliant device for mayhem – and in my mind I link it to the stories from St Mary’s, where there is a chicken that is very prominent in a certain person’s life. Another giggle worthy book and again, my education gets expanded – thank goodness for the urban dictionary and the private search tab you can now have! Just what my husband would make of the things I’m checking up, I don’t know.

The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 4-6)

RANDOM ACTS OF HOPE Excerpt:

The last thing I expected to see when I walked into the kitchen of this Friday night gig was eight vibrators twitching furiously on the tile floor in various states of orgasm-inducing glory.

The giant black dildo with huge, egg-shaped, bulbous balls at the base was winning. A close second, the pink rabbit with the little clit extenders tried to catch up. Next came a two-inch silver bullet, flailing off to the right but occasionally making a giant leap forward. The other four, a ragtag assemblage of peach and brown flesh-colored rubbery plastic, seemed to cluster around the refrigerator as if stoned, lolling about aimlessly after getting their hands on a quarter bag and a limitless supply of nachos.

Ah, yes. The famous vibrator races at a sex toy party. I’d heard about this from one of the other bachelorette party strippers, but I’d never actually seen one.

Check that off my list.

I assumed that would be the biggest surprise tonight as I hovered behind the crowd in my police officer’s costume, ready to “arrest” the bride and handcuff her to my partner Jack, the other stripper, who would then undress and pretend to get teabagged by her.

Yeah—I know. It’s pretty programmed, right? But that’s what the maid of honor always asks for.

And the customer is always right.

Tonight, though, was full of unexpected curves (and I don’t just mean the women). Because when I looked at one of the chicks on all fours, cheering that big old black vibrator to victory, I realized that wasn’t just any woman.

That was Charlotte.

My ex-girlfriend.

RANDOM ACTS OF YES Excerpt: 

Sam

I couldn’t stop touching the ring in my front pocket.

That’s right—ring. The word sounded so heavy, so weighted with importance. Ring. Like the words wife and husband and wedding and marriage.

And I couldn’t stop touching the box that held my future.

Amy had caught it, the rift between my presence in that moment just before words didn’t matter. Words, though, were exactly what I needed today, because tonight I was going to sing a new song I’d written just for her—and propose.

Propose. That word feels like a fifty-pound lead ball that sits in your stomach.

And like the lightest, most beautiful bird gliding over the endless sea.

Both of us naked and a bit sticky, we pulled apart, the shower a strong need. “You go first,” I said, pointing. “You take longer.”

“Want to take one together?” she offered, eyes gleaming and cheeks pulled up with dimples.

I groaned, body half ready and part of me hardening at the thought. God, I was tempted. So tempted. But—

“No,” I groaned, clearly torn. She laughed.

“You’re getting old,” she teased.

I pulled back the covered and showed her exactly how not-old I was.

“Shame to waste that,” she said, shaking her head and licking her lips with exaggerated lusciousness, making me rock hard again, one-eye staring up at me from my groin with agonizing attention. Did I really have enough blood in my body to produce that?

Bzzzz.

Our heads swiveled in unison to my phone, which bleated strange humming noises on the nightstand.

Her laughter tinkled like chimes as she walked, bare naked, out the room to the bathroom. I grabbed the phone and—Trevor.

The text said:

You ready?

I looked down at my attached flesh joystick and snorted.

For what? I texted back.

WTF, dude? he answered.

Oh, yeah. The song. The proposal. The—all of it.

RANDOM ACTS OF LOVE Excerpt:

Bzzzz.

Joe’s hand froze, resting perfectly between my thighs, my clit a beacon beeping and beeping for him to come, come, come in to home port.

“Don’t answer it,” I whispered, the lead ball in my stomach growing suddenly, as if lead could be inflated. I knew exactly who—not what—the helium was.

“Dude, ignore it,” Trevor chimed in behind me, with his hand in a slick, hot place so full of want I couldn’t stand it.

Ignoring us, Joe stuck his arm out and fumbled blindly for his phone, ever-present on the nightstand.

“Let me guess,” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm and everything that was dripping elsewhere dried up. “Mommy Dearest.” I knew I should keep my mouth shut. Trevor’s sigh was one of commiseration with just a hint of exasperation. Walking the line between the two was incredibly hard (as was Trev). Joe moved away, gently nudging me off him, the slide from heat to cold separation making my gut tighten, my throat thick with something dangerously close to shame.

Amazon/Kindle Unlimited Universal Buy Link: 

The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 4-6):  https://geni.us/RandomBS4-6_KU

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PIs in the Night

Midnight Magic
A Ghost & Abby Mystery #1
Jo-Ann Carson
paranormal ghost romance
JRT Publications
(28 Nov. 2017)

And when a hunky Viking offers to help you, who turns them down? Even when they happen to be a ghost?

 This is a fun read in the paranormal vein all about haunted houses and ghosts – as evident from the title.

And Abby is a private investigator but not at all fazed about the dangerous ghosts and magic she encounters. Lots of moxie this girl.

Fun and frothy light read.

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How to have love AND £

The HER BILLIONAIRE Series Book Cover The HER BILLIONAIRE Series
– Kindle Unlimited Launch
Author: Julia Kent
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Kindle

The New York Times bestselling Her Billionaires series combines the stories of Laura, Mike, Dylan (a committed threesome with a growing family by book 3) and Josie and Alex (a committed twosome) with strong cameos from Darla, Trevor, and Joe from the Random series (another permanent threesome) and Lydia, Jeremy and Mike from the Obedient series (yet another permanent threesome) for a madcap spectacle that yields one universal truth: love is a journey and not a destination, but people will drive you crazy along the way. Half a million words of hot, hilarious, heartwarming romantic comedy, all in Kindle Unlimited for you to read now!

The Her Billionaires Series includes:

Her Billionaires (Book 1)

It’s Complicated (Book 2)

Completely Complicated (Book 3)

It’s Always Complicated (Book 4)

Covid has meant that I have had a lot of time to read as I ‘shelter’ (from the storm?). Being unwell and only operating on a partial brain, I took a rest from my usual fare of thrillers, murders and suspense novels and went for novels and authors who could cheer me up. Julia Kent certainly does this. Reading her stories makes me giggle. I am also acquiring an education in linguistics and millennial language, and technically functional items that were unknown to me, and yet some can apparently be purchased on Amazon!

I really like her heroines. They are snarky, snippy, funny, and take no prisoners.

They come in all sizes from 6 foot to under 5 foot, with fuller Rubenesque figures, to Twiggy-alike.

The males, at least, tend towards the stereotypical alphas, with physiques of 6 – 8 packs. (I just had to look up what a man with an 8 pack looks like, and found that to my eyes at least, it looks really weird and unattractive).

But they are also human – they have emotions and often empathy – and as each of these series develops, they also grow up.

So I have worked my way through 3 of her series now. And working on the 4th.

This was the first of this set I have read this year (I’ve previously read the ‘Shopping’ series).

Some of Julia Kent’s books are very explicit, and this is one. They also often feature ménage a trios – 2 men, 1 woman. With variations on how this is managed.

Whilst not my own fantasy, I can see how it could be. So long as the men are ok with it – and she does get into the whole jealousy bit when men don’t ‘share’ equally for whatever reason.

For me, there was one thing missing in this series – when they all learnt that not only was Laura pregnant again, but it was twins! and how they got through the first months – this should prove totally chaotic and great fun to read about.

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three children in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Tropes: Threesome/Ménage (in a committed relationship), Billionaires, BBW, Rock Star Romance, Wedding, Pregnancy, Medical Doctor

HER BILLIONAIRES EXCERPT:

“Luscious, curvy financial analyst seeks friendship and more. Financially independent and self-assured, I’m a fit woman who wants a man (or, more than one! YOLO!) for stimulating conversation…er, yeah. Conversation. Message me (or massage me!).”

Something fierce and hot inside him came to life. From that description it sounded like she…seriously? No way.

“Mike! Hey, Mike! Get in here!” If there were a chance— any chance at all, here, then he had to act fast. Someone this amazing was about to get inundated by messages from needy weirdos.

And he needed to be the first.

His roommate wandered in. Where Dylan was all muscle and brawn, Mike Pine was tall and sleek, a marathoner’s body of long, lean tissue. Dylan’s dark, thick, Italian, looks made him popular with women, but Mike was the golden boy, with blonde hair and blue eyes—the long-distance runner with a soft heart, the guy women turned to and poured their hearts out, Mr. Sensitive to Dylan’s Mr. Conquest.

Dylan tapped the screen. “Take a look at her.”

He smiled smugly as Mike’s eyes raced across the screen. They’d been waiting for a long time. Too long. His roommate’s expression told him everything he needed to know. Score! It might finally be time.

IT’S COMPLICATED EXCERPT: 

Either a fireball entered the elevator and exploded in her body or she had just met her equivalent of Laura’s two soulmates in a single man. With one touch, Alex—just another resident, just another doctor in a hospital working a twenty-four-hour or forty-eight-hour shift, the kind of guy she’d met hundreds of over the years—had transformed everything. Transformed the air in the elevator, transformed the entire experience of bringing Laura in to L & D into…transformed something about Josie herself.

His touch had seismically split her in two, tectonic plates altering her emotional landscape. How could one person do that? she wondered as their eyes locked and he shook her hand slowly, the tactile sensation of his palm pressed against hers like some sort of a battery recharging every cell in her body, warming her, making parts of her throb with a frequency that she hoped he could feel with his tongue someday.

Or now. Now would work.

Very, very naughty thoughts flashed through her mind as they locked eyes. And then a second series of thoughts berated her, guilted her over thinking about anything but her poor best friend, who was about to have her vagina split open by a speeding eight-pound flesh ball, all the nibbly parts on display for a crew of eight or nine people, not including the dads and Josie.

This was a teaching hospital, after all, and the only way the interns, residents and the nursing students going through clinicals could learn was to watch people like Laura, to make notes, to get the queasiness over with and to learn by doing.

Right now she’d like to learn some really nice hands-on sexual lessons, lessons involving his hands on her naked ass, his mouth on other parts, her body entwined with Mr. Alex Derjian here—Dr. Alex Derjian, she corrected herself. Ever since a very messy failed affair her first year of nursing—an entangled, sweeping disaster that involved two doctors at work—she’d had a pretty firm rule: no dating doctors. But rules were made to be broken, right?

COMPLETELY COMPLICATED EXCERPT:

“Are you a Sybian expert now?” Mike asked as he returned from the kitchen, chomping on an energy bar.

Dylan shifted himself in a way that made Mike laugh. “Oh, you laugh, but you know exactly how I feel right now.”

“Yup.”

“That Sybian…”

“Yup.”

“I’m thinking about ordering one.”

A cocked eyebrow was Mike’s calm response. “You are?”

“You in?”

“I say order one of everything from those books and see what happens.” The devilish gleam in Mike’s eyes was so different from his droll manner that even after ten years together, Dylan was amazed the man could surprise him.

“You realize you’re talking to a guy with nearly unlimited money and zero impulse control?”

“You realize you are talking to a guy who has had sex twice and exactly one blow job in six months?” Mike’s face was serious, eyes gone dark and smoky. Mischief was gone. This was a man determined.

Dylan’s jaw dropped. Thank God they were in agreement. Whatever it took to unlock the passionate woman they’d met fifteen months ago and to regain the intimacy they all seemed to crave—but couldn’t quite find their way to—was what they needed to do now. Something had to give.

“What are we wasting time talking for, then? Let’s start clicking.”

Crreak. The telltale sign of their bedroom door opening made them both freeze.

“Shit!” Dylan hissed. Mike put a finger to his lips and stopped chewing on the energy bar. Both stood there, ears cocked. The sound of footsteps, and then the baby began to babble.

Mike looked at the eReader. “It’s been nearly two hours!”

“No way!”

Mike tapped and slid his fingers wildly, getting the machine back to the Home screen. “You order whatever we need later on from your phone. You have carte blanche. Get whatever you want.”

An evil laugh bubbled up inside Dylan as he rubbed his hands together.

This was going to be fun.

IT’S ALWAYS COMPLICATED EXCERPT:

Laura

“My dress doesn’t fit!” Laura wailed to no one in particular. Then again, no one was actually listening to her, so even if she had chosen a target for her cries of anguish, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Managing twin one-year-olds who had recently learned to walk and stumble after their three-year-old sister meant that lately, conversations were nothing but fleeting cries of caution followed by mutters as Laura cleaned messes made by humans who didn’t know any better.

And sometimes that included Dylan and Mike.

“You look like a Disney Princess, Mama!” Jillian said, stopping in her tracks. Her wide, blue eyes met Laura’s and her red cheeks turned to apples. “Can I be Elsa for the wedding?”

Laura looked down at the white dress she wore. Half her abundant boobage poured out like a tasty cupcake. The bodice dug into her ribs and the skirts made the skin on her thighs itch.

And then little Aaron came bounding around Jillian, chocolate smeared all over his hands and face.

“How did he get chocolate?” Laura asked, the words filled with an edge she didn’t want to have.

“I made him a cake in my little oven!” Jillian cried out with pride. The oven used a lightbulb for heat to cook the little cakes, and Jillian had been long warned only to use it with adults, but apparently Laura couldn’t take ninety seconds to change into her own wedding dress two days before the big day without having Jillian get into mischief.

She grimaced. Of all the days for their nanny, Cyndi, to have food poisoning.

Aaron took one, two, three steps in slow motion toward Laura. Eyes alight with conquest at learning to walk, he pitched forward and began to fall.

Instinct overrode wedding dress and she bent down to catch him before his head met the corner of the coffee table and—

Now her skirts looked like a very fluffy group of Dalmatians cuddled up against her legs. Chocolate smears everywhere, even in the tulle.

Amazon/Kindle Unlimited Universal Buy Links:

Her Billionaires Series:  https://geni.us/HerBillionairesALL_KU

Her Billionaires (Book 1):  https://geni.us/HerBillionaires_KU

It’s Complicated (Book 2):  https://geni.us/ItsComplicated_KU

Completely Complicated (Book 3):  https://geni.us/CompltlyComplicated_KU

It’s Always Complicated (Book 4):  https://geni.us/IAComplicated_KU

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A spinster and a spitfire

A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke Darcy Burke Publishing Romance Pub Date 19 May 2020 Book Cover A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke Darcy Burke Publishing Romance Pub Date 19 May 2020

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Untouchables series comes your next Regency obsession: The Spitfire Society... Meet the smart, independent women who’ve decided they don’t need Society’s rules, their families’ expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don’t need a man doesn’t mean they might not want one.

After failing on the Marriage Mart, Jane Pemberton has two choices: submit to her parents’ edict to marry their boring neighbor or become a self-declared spinster and take up residence in the official headquarters of the Spitfire Society. It’s really no choice at all, and Jane is eager to embrace her newfound independence. She soon finds an unconscious viscount on her doorstep and nurses him back to health. When he offers to compensate her, she requests payment in the form of private instruction of a scandalous and intimate kind.

Having spiraled into a self-destructive abyss following the murder of his parents, Anthony, Viscount Colton, physically recovers under the care of an alluring spitfire. But it is her charm and flirtatiousness that soothes his soul and arouses his desire—until an extortion scheme forces him to face the sins of his past. Now, to save the woman who’s given him everything he lost and more, he’ll have to pay the ultimate price: his heart.

So once upon a Regency period, when a young girl fails to attract a suitor in the marriage mart before she become an old maid – usually around 21 years of age – she has to become an unpaid servant somewhere. To her family – her elderly parents, an ancient aunt as a companion, an extra nanny to her siblings’ children or similar.

And if you had the money yourself, which was very unusual, you could set up home with a companion yourself.

But young girls of 21 or even older women, seldom had their own money and so were dependant on others. So if you hadn’t got a husband and didn’t want to become an unpaid servant, what were you to do?

Luckily, for our young heroine, she knew someone who not only had money but also a spare house she could lend her to live in, and enough to spare her some money to maintain it and buy the necessaries and some fripperies.

So Jane refuses to marry the ‘last resort’ husband of her parents’ choice and sets up home as a spinster in the HQ of what was now he Spitfires Society. A society for women who wanted more than what was customary for themselves.

Hey wanted independence of thought and action and not necessarily an husband.

Jane is a nice young lady, nicer than her reputation appears – a scandal had been attached to her about which she had no inkling. And she takes pity on a rake because of her niceness and starts his reformation – very rockily.  A nice story but not with quite the oomph that I expect of Darcy, and little that’s new in discussion of society and customs that

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