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Rich and?

Marrying My Billionaire Hookup
Nadia Lee
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Four Isles Press
Publication date: September 12th 2020

If any of my over-protective brothers ask, I’m pregnant via immaculate conception. Otherwise, the baby I’m carrying could be the death of one hot billionaire…

Jo

After a succession of relationships bad enough to set a Guinness World Record, running into a ruggedly handsome billionaire feels like a sign. Edgar is from out of town, mesmerizing, and his voice reminds me of Louisiana heat. Just listening to him makes my toes curl. So I throw aside all caution and spend the hottest night of my life in his bed, knowing we’ll never see each other again.

Until a positive pregnancy test brings him back into my life. And now he only wants to marry me to do right by the baby, but here’s the thing…

I’ll never settle. I want what my parents have: true love. Nothing — not even the electric chemistry that crackles every time Edgar and I are together — will deter me from that goal.

Edgar

Love is like alcohol. It destroys clarity and impairs judgment. I’ve seen my parents making one bad decision after another in the name of love, destroying our family.

But Jo wants love before she’ll marry me. So I’ll approximate it. Unlike my father, I’ll make sure my child knows she’s cherished (contrary to what Jo thinks, I know it’s a girl). I’m too sensible to fall in love and disrupt my already well-ordered life, even though every second I spend with her feels like skydiving without a parachute…

Excerpt

At the main door, I run into Yuna Hae, the party’s hostess. Her auburn hair is down, and she is in the cutest Chanel dress and shoes. I’ve never seen her look or dress badly—not that I’ve known her for long—and nothing hides her bubbly personality.

She hugs me. “Hey, you made it!”

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world!” I say, hugging her back. “Is Kim here yet?”

“Nope. She’s being fashionably late, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to hang out and have fun! Come on, let me introduce you to some people.” She gestures, pulling me toward the center of the foyer. “You have no idea how thrilled I am because all of my favorite people are here, even Edgar.”

“Edgar?”

“Edgar Blackwood. Tony’s older brother. He spends almost all his time running the family business in Louisiana, you know. But I bet he wanted the special treat I prepared!” She waggles her eyebrows.

“A special treat? Like…a cake or something?”

“Oh, you’ll be amazed. It’s awesome.” She taps the back of a tall, dark-haired man. He’s talking with someone, but he turns around, green eyes sharp with interest.

I recognize him instantly. Anthony Blackwood. He’s pretty famous—and infamous—and not only due to his family scandal. He owns some of the best and most popular clubs in the world, including Z here in L.A.

He doesn’t seem as cold as his reputation would suggest, although he’s just as well dressed as the pictures I’ve seen. He’s very handsome, his features finely carved. If it weren’t for the firm lines of his lips and jaw, he’d be pretty.

“Tony, say hello to my friend, Jo Martinez. Jo, Anthony Blackwood.”

He shakes my hand firmly. “Anthony. Pleasure to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s mine,” I say.

“Ivy’s talked about you. She always appreciates your help.”

My smile grows more genuine. “She’s so lovely.” It’s true. She’s one of the nicest people to work for.

“Have you met my brother?” He gestures at the man he was talking with, who comes half a step closer.

Anthony is certainly handsome enough, but his brother is…

Wow.

Normally I think clothes make the man, wielding the presence he needs if they have the right combination of color, material and cut. But in this case, clothes seem to be an afterthought. He’s tall, with magnificently broad shoulders that signal power and dominance. He stands with perfect posture, his back straight, his head angled just so to show the bold lines of his facial bones. His features aren’t as elegantly carved as Anthony’s, but there’s rawness to them that’s utterly masculine and hot. And his eyes… They’re green like Anthony’s, but different. Darker, deeper and completely controlled without being cold.

I wonder what they’d look like when they aren’t so controlled…

Suddenly, the place feels too hot.

My “no” to Anthony’s question comes out a near-breathless whisper. I clear my throat and add, “I don’t believe so,” then extend my hand. “Jo Martinez.”

“Edgar,” he says, with a hint of a Southern drawl. “Edgar Blackwood.” Dios mío, that voice that should be illegal. It brushes over me, as decadent as velvet, and I suppress a shiver as sensation seems to pool between my legs. How in the world is he making his name sound like my dirtiest fantasy? My grandmother would say he’s sold his soul to the devil.

He takes my hand in a soft fingers-only grip and gently pumps it twice. The contact sends a tingle up my arm, making my neck heat.

“Charmed,” he says.

“Ooh, how nice. Is that what Louisiana gentlemen say when they meet a lady?”

The green eyes crinkle slightly. “Depends on the lady.”

Oh my God. I bet tons of women sigh over him and make fools of themselves. I don’t want to be a cliché he won’t even remember two seconds from now.

But then I feel it… The soft, slow drag of his fingertips as though he loathes to let me go. And although he’s looking at me calmly enough, I can see a glimmer of heat in his eyes.

So this is a two-way street. And I can see that he knows it. We share a moment that Anthony and Yuna are not privy to, even though they’re standing right beside us.

Solemn and somber is not my type. Usually I date men who are easygoing and don’t take themselves or anyone else too seriously.

But maybe he just takes his responsibilities seriously. If I remember correctly, he’s the eldest Blackwood brother. Rafael acts like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders, so that makes sense. I wonder what Edgar’s like in bed. Is he still serious, even when he’s naked and hard? Does he direct all that serious attention to licking and stroking and fucking?

I try to tamp down a vivid mental movie of Edgar doing exactly that, but desire sparks anyway. I don’t get it. I’m not the type to mind-strip a man I just met and fantasize about him. I’ve had plenty of hot male clients, and none of them made my hormones spin out of control.

“Would you like to get a drink?” he says, holding my eyes.

If you ask me in that voice, the answer will always be…

“Yes.”

Author Bio

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favorite authors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website http://www.nadialee.net/ or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3247259.Nadia_Lee

https://www.facebook.com/NadiaLeeWrites

https://www.instagram.com/nadialeewrites/

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Why is humour often grave?

Grave Humor Book Cover Grave Humor
A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) #14
R. J. Blain
Fiction, paranormal, urban famtasy
Pen & Page Publishing
May 12, 2020
386

Most days, Anwen regrets working at a funeral home. With the residents no longer inclined to stay in their coffins where they belong, she's got her hands full making sure everyone follows the rules: In the funeral home, there is no screaming, no murdering, no mutilation, no possessions, no kidnappings, no resurrections, and no cursing of any type. Be quiet and stay polite. The day Old Man McGregor decides to take a walk and disturbs her peace, Anwen learns there's a lot more to the basement in the funeral home than a vampire and a handsome gentleman on ice. If she's not careful, she'll learn first-hand why 'eternally yours' is the most potent of threats. Warning: this novel contains romance, humor, bodies, shenanigans, and mythological puppies. Proceed with caution.

Part of a long series with bodies….

This was a good length and so it was long enough to complete a story in one book. No need for a sequel here and I enjoyed reading through whole.

Just a couple of minor grouches from me though – 1. For me it seemed there was too much emphasis on the Aramaic pantheon; and 2. I got seriously confused at times when the characters were explaining all the different relationships within the angelic host and others. This just needed to be simplified down for those not familiar with this pantheon and the way angels and their various families are linked.

I had not realised, until I looked it up, that angels are common to many religions including Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. Of course Medieval scholars managed to make it all very complicated and to have many different choirs of angels and thrones etc but the one thing that most agree on is that Azrael holds a rather benevolent role as the angel of death, wherein he acts as a psychopomp, responsible for transporting the souls of the deceased after death. I have come across the concept of a psychopomp before in Christine Bauer’s work so this was at least familiar to me. But of course, each religion has a different take on angels – names, roles and hierarchy too.

I’m glad that I didn’t give up though. As I found that the story kept me interested and I loved the Mausoleum and graveyard. Anwen was an interesting heroine and I loved her chats with the dead and the loved the way the dead behaved too.

A different world again – but as the angels and others keep hinting – each world that the universe  builds lasts only a time – and then is destroyed for some reason and another world appears and magic appears in this new world at some point too. But each world acquires its magic at a different point in its history. Some characters in these stories live through multiple worlds – often by sleeping for long periods. Interesting thought and philosophy.

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Lactose Intolerant?

Blood Bound: Lowrance Vampires
Lowrance Vampires #1
RJ Blain
Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Pen & Page Publishing
(28 Jan. 2020)

After waking in a shallow grave and clawing her way to freedom, Penelope Francis hunts for the rogue who stole her life and transformed her into a vampire. Despite being corrupted into a feared preternatural, she clings to her humanity and refuses to prey on innocents, instead slaking her thirst on other miscreant vampires. In exchange for a chance at revenge, she joins forces with the charismatic master of the Lowrance brood, a choice that may spell the salvation—or destruction—of humanity as she knows it.

OK. So just about everything you thought you knew about Vampires is wrong – just about anyway. As usual, we get new world building from one of my all time favourite authors because she is funny and comes up with weird and wonderful worlds and stories. And the best kickass heroines with real snark and humour.

For a start, vampires are lactose intolerant. Also, they prefer blood from happy animals, so they arrange for the animals to live a wonderful life, organic, grass fed, and frolicky. And to have a nice death too – a happy death where they feel no pain and are not hurt in any way. Also chicken blood is good as is kobe beef steaks, rare of course.

Only those who have gone ‘wrong’ drink from unwilling victims and they frequently get blood lust and thus drain their victims – who are usually not willing, and so these crazed vampires have blood orgies, which the good vampires break up and see that they are punished.

Vampires do indeed live in clans or families, and are usually rich having lived a long time, and everyone has a job and is a useful member of society. They take human wives as otherwise they couldn’t have children. And people become vampires willingly – on the whole – to live this long and rich life.

I look forward to learning how this series continues and what happens to our heroine – Penelope/Pepper – who was turned against her will and yet survived – and gets sick on chicken blood – gets on with her new life within the Lowrance clan.

Blood Bound: A Lowrance Vampires Novel by [R.J. Blain]

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Whirlwinds go around…

Warpaint
OhSoBoutique! Series Book 1
J.J. Maya
Romance | Women's Fiction, Romantic Comedy
BooksGoSocial, Michelle McDermott
3 Apr 2020

WARPAINT IS THE SIMPLY SPARKLING ROM COM NOVEL OF 2020 - WILL WILLOW STEAL YOUR HEART? Readers are falling in love with Warpaint!  Scottish Makeup Artist Willow meets dashing New Yorker, Rick, and marries him after a whirlwind romance. But her new life in NYC is far from the perfect fresh start she imagined. Ignoring the warnings of her colleagues on the beauty hall floor, Willow headed off into the sunset with Rick...but his “Manhattan” loft is a bedsit in Queens and his ex, Isabella, appears to be in residence. Scorned Isabella alerts the authorities of a suspected “Green Card Marriage,” setting off a chain reaction with dramatic consequences. Now, faced with the threat of deportation and her marriage over before it had the chance to begin, will Willow find the courage to stay in New York and make all her makeup artistry dreams come true? Warpaint is Book One in the heartwarming OhSoBoutique! Series.


Are whirlwind marriages always deigned to go wrong? Can you fall in love (not lust) within a matter of weeks and marry and give up everything you’ve ever known to follow your new spouse into a new country and culture?
Well this heroine thought she could.
Willow is not the youngest heroine, nor is she the most beautiful, and so when Rick – a dashing American who appeared to have plenty of money – claims to have fallen in love with her, asks her to marry him and move to his Manhattan loft, she accepts. With trepidation its true. Which was justified as Manhattan lofts are not quite what she expected – especially when she finds remnants of Rick’s girlfriend in evidence. Seems she had only just left the ‘loft’. And wasn’t best pleased about it either and was determined to let Willow and Rick know.
This is a sweet tale of misguidedness and naivety and how difficult it can be to settle into a new culture and worse – to get a job in the States. The legal requirement of a valid and happy marriage being one of course.
With some finagling we manage to get to a happy ending through tears and struggles and stubbornness which makes one fall for Willow in her innocence, even not so much Rick. But her choice. And Willow finds she has some lovely co-workers who are prepared to put themselves on the line for her, demonstrating their depth of friendship.

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Finding out who dun-it

Where The Innocent Die Book Cover Where The Innocent Die
Detective Ridpath #4
M J Lee
Fiction
Canelo
March 2020
300

The case was closed. Until people started dying... DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising detective who captured a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then the murders began, in an uncanny echo of his first case. As the death count grows, old records, and bodies, go missing. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, Ridpath is in a race against time. A race to save his career, his marriage, and innocent lives. When a detective disappears everything is on the line. Can Ridpath save his colleague? A nail-biting crime thriller, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and D. S. Butler.

So this is Detective Ridpath again in the Coroner’s Office and there is a death in a Detainee Centre and he is asked to investigate it and confirm the findings as the Inquest was due – the parents had flown over from China to take their daughter’s body home. The Coroner did not want to postpone the inquest because of this.

The pathologist had identified the death as suicide but there was one factor that confused Ridpath. Despite all the doors to the rooms being locked by 9.15pm and the inmates being unable to unlock them, the girl’s door was unlocked – which was why her death had been discovered in the wee hours of the morning as the ‘officer’ made his rounds. And then the camera outside her room had been disabled – as had 5 others in the facility.

 Ridpath has to work fast to discover the truth of the death which turns out, as one could expect, to be rather more complicated than the initial findings.

The story proceeds – and Manchester is portrayed in its grimy, grey self accurately – and yes, people retiring wanted to get away to somewhere warmer – it drove our daughter, once she had lived there a few months, to Australia!

 I like these stories and hope Ridpath stays with the Coroner’s Office as it makes a definite change of storyline from the usual major incident squads.

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