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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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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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Drink up and Splash!

Coffee Girl Book Cover Coffee Girl
Sophie Sinclair
Humor | Romance
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 13 Nov 2019

Mackenzie “Kiki” Forbes finds herself in a pickle.

Either become her snarky sister’s nanny, or move halfway across the country to work as assistant-to-the-stylist of a country music star. Neither job sounds ideal, although bedazzling cowboy boots may be a hell of a lot more interesting than ironing her brother-in-law’s underwear. But life on the road as the errand coffee girl for a sold-out tour leaves much to be desired. That is, until Kiki meets her sinfully sexy new boss’s boss…

Tatum Reed’s career is flying high. He’s up for country music’s Entertainer of the Year and he’s headed out on a nationwide sold-out tour. So why does he feel like it’s all about to implode? His superstar ex-girlfriend seems determined to make his life difficult, his opening act is a handful, and the new girl on his tour, the feisty brunette, is quickly getting under his skin. In this crazy world of showbusiness Tatum needs to learn who he can trust, but that doesn’t come easily, because the one person who holds all the cards may just throw them down and walk away.

Life in the public eye is never all it’s cracked up to be, which has both Kiki and Tatum questioning what they’re really doing with their careers, and their hearts.

Do you ever have one of those days? When nothing ever goes quite right? And you spill coffee over your interview clothes? [or worse – think red on white trousers ].

Well our intrepid heroine has a bad day – or two in this book and earns the nickname Coffee Girl due to her spillage.

I have to say though, I’ve never heard of such complicated orders as some people give for coffee – ‘large skinny Latte, with extra foam, light swirl of caramel, hint of shaken salt, 2.5 pumps of vanilla, splash of extra hot water, 1.5 packets of splenda’.

You have to wonder how many different combinations of all these items they had been through to be so specific.

And I love Oreo and do understand why he is a house cat. Maine Coons are often kept indoors as they are often stolen, but I’d rather have one who could go outside. I looked at the rescue sites for a Maine Coon and a Norwegian Forest cat as we may get another cat soon, and they both say must be kept indoors. So despite my love of these breeds, I shan’t be getting one.Overall this was a sweet story with the usual ups and downs of the genre and some reality about just how uncomfortable it can be touring with a rock band. That said, the lyrics never make a lot of sense to me and country music is always heart break and sad songs so not my scene at all.

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Steeley?

Seduced By A Steele (Mills & Boon Desire) (Forged of Steele, Book 12) Book Cover Seduced By A Steele (Mills & Boon Desire) (Forged of Steele, Book 12)
Brenda Jackson
Fiction, Romance, Womens' Fiction
HarperCollins UK
March 5, 2020
192

A notorious heartbreaker is about to meet his match... When the “thief” caught driving his stolen vintage car turns out to be a stunning runaway heiress, Mercury Steele is conflicted. On the one hand, Sloane Donahue triggers the billionaire playboy’s protective instincts. But she also triggers red-hot desire

Well I thought that these weren’t the first in the series about the Steele family, and checking on Amazon I find that they are books 12 and 13 in the series...
But that in the Kimani imprint (African American novels only) there is a number 89 in the series! So the story goes on...
These 2 novels take on the romances of the 2 youngest of the 6 sons of the family.
Whilst I thought these 2 books were reasonable for their genre, with gentle humour and nice story-telling, I found them rather short. But then if Brenda is turning out the numbers of books she is, she can’t write a longer length novel each time. And it may also be the norm for this imprint.
This left me wanting more depth from the characters and the stories.
Adequate but not exceptional.

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Hanna explains her beat

My Pulse Book Cover My Pulse
Town of Broward Book 1
Hanna Dale
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
November 26, 2019
kindle

For single mom Tristan Maddox, moving to the small town of Broward, Georgia is the opportunity she needs to provide her daughter with a better life. A bigger house where they can each have their own bedroom, a backyard to play in, a place where they can put down roots and be part of a community, are all part of the reason she chose Broward as their new home. Nowhere on that list was her sexy next door neighbor, Owen, his adorably affable dog, Huck, or his crazy family. 

Owen Gallahanger is perfectly content with his life the way it is. He has a job he loves, a family that he can count on, even if they drive him crazy most of the time, and his loyal sidekick, Huck. He isn’t looking for anything more, but after meeting Tristan and her daughter, he quickly realizes exactly what he is missing.

But not everyone is happy that Tristan is in Broward. As an unknown threat continues to escalate, Owen has to fight to protect the woman he loves, and their future together, or risk losing everything.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? I’m a sucker for a good romance, at least reading one or watching one on the TV or in a movie. In real life, coming home to find my husband has started dinner is romantic! A lot of books I’ve read have dealt with the insta-love angle, and in nearly all of them, the characters all just fall in line. I believe in love at first sight, but I also believe in taking a beat and making sure it’s real and true.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? I’m like the worst plotter known to man. I fly by the seat of my pants, change directions halfway through, and then again three-quarters of the way through. It’s all about the way the story unfolds as I’m writing it. Since I was serious about publishing this book, I did take the time to put together a very basic outline. I didn’t follow it, but I did put one together!
  3. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book? There wasn’t a ton of research involved in this book, but it did take me several years to write it. That was more for personal reasons than anything else. I have several more books in this series that I want to write, and they will definitely involve a lot more research.
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted? I self-published my book. I think the self-publishing and indie author boom in the last few years has given us a lot of amazing authors that we might not have ever been introduced to.
  5. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author? I am madly in love with everything Lucy Score has written. I just discovered her, and I burned through all of her published works in no time at all. If you haven’t read anything by her – do it now!
  6. Do you have any pets? I briefly lost my mind and adopted three puppies….basically at the same time. I’m still not sure how it happened. So currently I have two pups that are two-years-old and one that is one-year-old and literally no sanity left.
    1. If so, what are they? We have one beagle, and two lab/hound mixes.
    1. And what are they called? Scout is our beagle, then we have Piper and Hobo.
    1. Do they help you write? They have a habit of trying to chew on my laptop, or the cord, or my feet, or anything they can get in their mouth.
    1. What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? Scout has a habit of closing my laptop, with my hands still on the keyboard.
  7. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing? Can I play the sappy mom card and say my kids? They astound me every day with how smart they are, but also how caring and loveable they are.

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