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Did you say I had a habit?

Relentless Habit Book Cover Relentless Habit
(O-Town, #1)
Karen Renee
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 1st 2020

Cecilia I moved to Orlando for a fresh start. Nobody could know my secret. Catching the attention of the hottest DJ in all of Orlando wasn’t in the plan. He’s got moves, and they’re not just good. They are good. Like the beats he spins in the booth, I fall fast for him and his crazy family. When he finds out about my past, it won’t just break my heart but also crush my soul.

Brock The third time I saw her at a crowded club, I had to have her. After our first kiss, I knew she was a habit I would never want to break. Knowing what she hid from me reinforces what I’ve known for so long. Women cannot be trusted. Even knowing the worst, I can’t stay away from her. But when push comes to shove, will I be able to keep her safe?  

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

  How long I think about a book before writing it varies from book to book and series to series. In general, I stew on characters and topics for two months or more before I’m certain about what really drives a story. Since I used to work in research, I leave topics requiring more information until I’m closer to a first draft because I fall into the rabbit hole of research very easily. That helps me stay focused and prevents me from wasting writing time. I keep a notebook for ideas, and I have it with me all the time. However, my characters come to me with random scenes that must be written down on the spot and that’s typically what’s in the notebook. I prefer for characters to drive the story and only step in when necessary.

   With Relentless Habit, I didn’t expect Brock and Cecilia to become a serious couple. My thought was that they would have a random hook-up, and that would be that – not pertinent to either of their respective stories. What turned into the first chapter was written as a piece of Flash Fiction for a writer/reader group on Facebook. It shocked me how much chemistry the two of them had with one another. Which of course meant, I had to see where that might go – but I didn’t start writing their book until five months after I submitted the Flash Fiction piece.

   The more I toyed with them being a real couple, the more I realized they had a number of things in common. Not the least of which was Brock taking Cecilia’s sister out for coffee nearly a year prior, thank goodness he didn’t hit it off with Tennille.

   With the next book in the O-Town series, I didn’t have to think as long about the story because in some ways Brock forced me into it. He says something to Cecilia about his brother, Gabe, and a woman Gabe is friends with, and I realized I had no choice. I didn’t want Gabe’s story to be a friends-to-lovers trope, but sometimes my characters know exactly what I never knew the book needed. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way because it keeps the writing fresh and it rarely feels like work.

Author Bio:

Karen Renee is the award-winning author of the Riot MC

series, the Beta series, and upcoming O-Town series. She has been writing since she was a teen, but has only recently brought her dream to life. Karen spent years working in the wonderful world of advertising, banking, and local television media research.  She is a Jacksonville native, as well as a proud wife and mother.  When she’s not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.

https://www.authorkarenrenee.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17912815.Karen_Renee

https://www.facebook.com/karen.renee.56481

https://twitter.com/karenreneewrite?lang=en

https://www.instagram.com/karenreneeauthor/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karen-renee

https://books.apple.com/us/book/relentless-habit/id1514819791?uo=4&mt=11&at=1010l9S2

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/relentless-habit

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1023574?ref=draft2digital

https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/relentless-habit-karen-renee/p/9780463963333

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Down by the Lake

Beach Read Book Cover Beach Read
Emily Henry
Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Love and Marriage
Penguin
June 2, 2020
400

He doesn't believe in happy endings. She's lost her faith that they exist. But could they find one together? January is a hopeless romantic who likes narrating her life as if she's the heroine in a blockbuster movie. Augustus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale. January and Augustus are not going to get on. But they actually have more in common than you'd think- They're both broke. They've got crippling writer's block. They need to write bestsellers before the end of the summer. The result? A bet to see who can get their book published first. The catch? They have to swap genres. The risk? In telling each other's stories, their worlds might be changed entirely . . .

Never quite figured out why this novel was called ‘Beach Read’, because for me, it wasn’t a beach read, and it seemed to have to have nothing to do with beaches..

That said, I enjoyed reading it.

The heroine was called January. She thought it had a meaning for her parents, just as they told her about ‘her’ song – the one that was number one in the hit parade when she was born did. Only not so much.

And then here was her father – and his lake house and his mistress.

 A complicated story with high emotions at times and good writing style and believable characters.

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Business means takeovers

The Takeover Book Cover The Takeover
The Miles High Club
T. L. Swan
Fiction, Adult Romance
Montlake Romance
August 27, 2020
480

In bestselling author T L Swan's second hot installment to the Miles High Club series, he's sexy, rich, and her mortal enemy. Hate never felt so good. I first met Tristan Miles at a meeting where he was trying to take over my late husband's company. He was powerful, arrogant, and infuriatingly gorgeous, and I hated him with every cell in my body. In the shock of the century, he called me three days later and asked me on a date. I would rather die than date a man like him--though I do have to admit it was good for the ego. Turning him down was the highlight of my year. Six months later, he was the guest speaker at a conference I attended in France. Still arrogant and infuriating--but this time, surprisingly charming and witty. When he looked at me, I got butterflies. But I can't go there. He's just a player in a hot suit, and I'm just a widow with three unruly sons. I just need this conference to be over. Because everybody knows that Tristan Miles always gets what he wants...and what he wants is me.

I liked this book enough to read the first story in this series, Mr Masters. Which I didn’t like as much. For me, this author wrote better as the series developed.

There was enough humour and snark and character and boys being boys for the story to read true.

I did think that her agency was really large – the numbers of employees seemed big, and I did wonder who it was who had given her funds when she had refused so many people – this seemed to be a point that should have been addressed as it enabled her agency to survive longer.

I liked how the story went between the different characters thoughts – this way of looking at interactions and occasions gives, when written well, an extra dimension to the story.

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Heart owning: our author explains

He Owns My Heart Genres: Book Cover He Owns My Heart Genres:
(Owned Heart, Body, & Soul #1)
Evie Drae
Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Clandesdyne
Publication date: August 11th 2020

Only true love can free a captive heart. Landon Jenks, retired four-time Golden Glove-winning shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, is lonely, heartbroken, and in desperate need of simple human contact. Trapped in the sticky fine print of an ironclad contract that forbids him from revealing his very-much-single status until the season finale of his reality show airs, he calls an elite male escort service that caters to the rich and wretched. Accustomed to servicing his often less than savory clients at more upscale locales, twenty-six-year-old Toby Carmichael is surprised when his handler sends him to a run-down motel off I-55. But “surprise” doesn’t come close to describing the shock that rocks his system when a delightful stuttering mess covered in tattoos and nearly ten years his senior stumbles into the room—and right into his heart. For the first time since Toby was forced into the life of prostitution, a kiss sparks a desire that has nothing to do with money and everything to do with genuine chemistry and the faintest beginnings of something so much more. But Toby’s dark past and troubled present make it impossible to see a future with Landon. And when the truth comes to light, a horrified and helpless Landon is determined to save Toby at all costs. Content Warnings: Discussion of childhood verbal abuse by an adult survivor, homophobia from a close family member, discussion of previous self-harm/cutting behaviors by an adult survivor, prostitution with dubious consent (all interactions between the main characters have full consent and there are no on-page depictions of dub-con situations), consensual and experimental Domination/submission play between mostly-novice characters, mild violence between a main character and antagonist, and human trafficking associated with illegal drugs (nothing explicit on-page, only discussions related to and psychological/mental ramifications of addressed in moderate detail).  

Once upon a time, I used to consider myself a pantser. The idea of outlining gave me the writerly heebie jeebies. However, it was this story in particular that turned the tides on my aversion to plotting and planning. When I first set out to write Toby and Landon’s story, it was following a “dare” of sorts from a writing friend of mine who was trying to help me get out of a slump. She had recently discovered the joys of authoring short stories and challenged me to write one of my own. I agreed and decided to use a couple of characters who had been banging around my head for a while at that point. I thought their story could be told in a simple linear fashion without too much diversion into deep emotion or side plots. At the time, neither of them had spoken to me beyond the idea of a hot hotel tryst between a celebrity trying to maintain anonymity and the escort he hired for an evening of company.

The problem came once I really got to know the characters and realized, quite quickly, that their story couldn’t be told in the breadth of a short story. In fact, the deeper I got into their world, the more they had to say. By the time I’d wrapped up the very poorly paced short, I realized—for the first time ever—that I had to start back at the beginning… and actually do an outline. A few months of stress and overthinking later, and my short story had turned into a highly detailed and planned out trilogy, complete with an overarching story arc that I positively cannot wait to share with the world.

Toby and Landon were originally going to have a pretty easy go of it. I was going to follow the prostitute-finds-love-and-quits-his-job trope with minimal tension or conflict. You know, the necessary level of angst associated with novella-length stories. However, their journey has taken a much different path now that it’s been stretched into three books with distinct and involved storylines all their own. Above all else, I’m most excited about depicting Toby and Landon’s voyage into the world of BDSM. As a member of the lifestyle myself, I’m thrilled to portray a relationship where domination and submission plays a role in not only building their bond, but also in providing a place for healing, communication, and personal as well as relationship-based growth.

About the Author

Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests.

One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.

Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.

https://www.facebook.com/eviedraeauthor

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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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