BLOG TOUR ~ THE KISS THIEF by L.J. Shen

Today we are thrilled to be on tour with L.J Shen’s all-new enemies-to-lovers romance,
THE KISS THIEF

Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs

 

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.

Two men.

Three lives.

Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

 

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Reviewed by Tracey Lou on behalf of KFF

Have you ever read a book that was so so good that when you get to the last word on the last page, you know you need to write the review and you think to yourself, where do I begin!

Francesca Rossi was beautiful, sheltered and protected from the outside world like all good Italian girls. She thought she had her life all mapped out for her. Marry a good Italian boy, have babies and live happily ever after. But that was all about to change…

Wolfe Keaton. Wolf by name, wolf by nature. Commanding, gorgeous and utterly ruthless. I love him already! From an early age, he has been striving for one thing. The downfall of one man. The hatred for this man was buried so deep inside of him that he will use any means to make it happen. Nothing will stand in his way…His name, Arthur Rossi.

He stole her kiss! A kiss that was meant for the man of her dreams, the man she would spend the rest of her life with. Was he sorry? Hell no! It’s all part of his intricate plan to make her his and make those close to her suffer. She was but a pawn in his sadistic game of revenge.

Francesca’s fate was sealed, there was no escape. Her feelings for Wolfe Keaton was of hatred and lust. Yes! Her body betrayed her. Her feelings for him grew as time went on and she could feel his coldness and nonchalant attitude towards her start to thaw. There was so much standing in their way. So many enemies and misunderstandings. Would they get their happy ever after?

I tried to word this review without giving too much away. But I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface. How could I possibly do this book justice which by the way, had kept me up all night! The story flowed well in all its intricacies. The feelings, the depths of these characters were splayed out on every page. They may not have known it from the start, but they were a perfect match for each other. She had attitude and sass, she wasn’t that meek Italian girl that everyone took her for. Wolfe may have been cold on the outside but you knew that the love of a good woman would change that. It was circumstance that had made him the way he was.

Last but not least a note for the author. I am a big fan of your work and your work just keeps on getting better. Your style of writing and storytelling astounds me every time and leaves me in awe of your talent. This is one book that will stay with me for a very long time. Thank you for sharing. Bravo, congratulations!

 

excerpt

© 2018 L.J. Shen
All rights reserved. 

“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.

“Answer me,” I hissed.

“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.

“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.

“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”

Un-freaking-believable.

We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.

I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical, and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.

“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”

I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.

“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.

“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.

“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”

“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.

“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.

“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”

“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behavior was the only thing that stood out.

I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.

“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.

“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”

“That’s your backbone?”

“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”

A conceited frown crinkled his mask, as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because, this man? He’d chase.

 

 

MEET L.J. SHEN

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

CONNECT WITH L.J. SHEN

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LOVE ME LIKE THIS by Lola StVil is FREE!

Today we are delighted to be sharing Lola StVil’s Single Dad/Small Town Romance which is now available to one-click for #FREE!
Scoll down for excerpt, too!

We just added something to your “To do list”, you’re welcome.

He’s an Alpha’s Alpha. And he will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.

My son is my world. I am raising him to be on high alert about his surroundings at all times. I’m a former SEAL; it’s in my blood. I maintain suspicion about change. Yet the new girl in town, Ryan Shaw, caught me off guard.

Ryan is witty, with soft curves and a big heart. The moment our eyes meet, she wakes something in me I thought had died—hope. And when she volunteers to tutor my son, I marvel at how much my little guy loves her. It turns out he’s not the only one whose taken by her. In fact, the more I get to know her, the more I want her; not just in bed, but in our lives. I never thought a guy with a past like mine, would ever find love. But now that I have, there’s no way I’m gonna let anyone take it from me.

Enemies from my past are out to destroy everything I’ve built, but they have no idea how far I will go to protect the ones I love…

This steamy romance is a roller coaster ride that will make you laugh, make you hot, and even make you shed a few tears. It’s a full-length standalone novel. You do not have to read the book that came before this one. NO cheating, NO cliffhangers, and a guaranteed Happily-ever-after! This book has adult content for ages 18 and over.

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EXCERPT 

 
I stand by the hood of her car. She’s so close to me I can smell her—an intoxicating mix of sweet vanilla, strawberries, and a musky smell that makes me want to reach out, bend her over, and fuck her right here in the street. Fuck, I can almost taste her.
I can’t help but wonder if I’m having the same effect on her. The way she’s frowning up at me like she’s ready to get the mace back out tells me I’m not.
“Well?” she demands. “Are you going to fix it or not?”
“Look, I’m good, but I’m not a miracle worker,” I say.
Her frown deepens, but now it’s focused on the car instead of me.
“It’s that bad?” she asks.
“I wouldn’t know. I can’t see through the hood,” I smirk.
“I … Oh. Yes. Of course,” she stutters.
She runs a hand through her hair, and I feel my insides knot even tighter. What I wouldn’t give for that to be my hand in her hair instead of hers. And it wouldn’t stay there long. I would move it down, trailing my fingers over her neck and …
Fuck, get a grip, man. I clear my throat.
“Hi,” she says.
I look up to see who she’s talking to and I’m surprised to see Max standing beside us, grinning up at Ryan.
Dammit. I told him to stay inside. I feel a surge of anger. Not at him; he’s seven and curious. The anger is at myself. I was so caught up in Ryan I didn’t realize he had joined us. I allowed myself to lose my concentration and the consequences of that could be…I don’t even want to think about what they could be.
“I told you to stay inside,” I snap.
Max’s grin slips a little, and I hate myself for taking my anger out on him. My tone softens.
“Why don’t you go back inside? I won’t be long here.”
“I want to talk to your friend,” Max says.
I swear he puts a weird emphasis on friend like he somehow knows I want to be much more than friends with Ryan. Before I can say anything, Ryan smiles and extends her hand to Max.
“I’m Ryan,” she announces.
Max shakes her hand formally.
“Max,” he replies. “I really like your name.”
He handled that better than I did. Maybe I should be getting lessons from him.
“Do you go to St Theresa’s?” Ryan asks him.
I feel my heart skip a beat. How does she know that? Is she a part of the Company? Is this the day I’ve been dreading?
Max is nodding his head before I can stop him.
“Yes. I’m in Mrs. Berry’s class,” he announces.
It seems that all the training in the world goes out the window for both of us just because a pretty girl smiles at us.
“I start working there on Monday,” she tells Max.
I feel relief flood me. She didn’t know Max went there. She doesn’t know who I am or who he is. She was just assuming because of his age.
“You’re a teacher?” I ask.
“Teacher’s assistant. I’ll be helping some of the younger kids with their English,” she tells me.
“Well damn, teachers have changed since I was at school,” I blurt out.
Ryan and Max both look at me, stunned at my words. They continue their conversation as I go back to the car.
If my teacher had looked like Ryan, I don’t think I would have gotten much of anything done. Pretty much like now. The more I try to focus on the engine, the less I seem to be able to focus on anything but Ryan’s collarbone, and how she would writhe beneath me as I ran my tongue over it, moving down lower until she was screaming for more.
I realize my gaze has definitely left her face and I jerk my eyes back up to meet hers, expecting a lecture. Instead, she gives me an amused smile.
“Seen something interesting?” she asks.
“He will have. Every time he gets under the hood of a car he finds something to distract him,” Max replies, digging me out of the hole I’m in.
“What he said,” I add with what I hope is a charming smile because we both know we’re not really talking about the car engine when I go on. “There’s definitely something here that I’d like to get my hands on.”
 

AUTHOR BIO

Lola StVil is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes Fantasy in addition to Contemporary romance. She has written over a dozen books and loves taking her readers on an emotional roller coaster ride. She is currently living in California and enjoys staying in touch with her readers.

AUTHOR LINKS

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PRE-ORDER ALERT ~ DARE ME AGAIN by Shelly Alexander

DARE ME AGAIN: Angel Fire Falls #2 by Shelly Alexander releases in just over a week – pre-order your copy today!

About DARE ME AGAIN (January 15th)

Making dreams come true is a red-hot challenge for two stubborn hearts risking it all on a second chance…

Hot-wired and restless, financial wizard Elliott Remington doesn’t turn down a dare. This time it’s to coordinate a service-dog boot camp for veterans at his family’s resort. Success means a one-way ticket to the West Coast to pursue his dream career. But it comes with a hitch: teaming up with his ex, who vanished on him ten years ago with nothing more than a kiss-off note.

As fiery as her hair and as stubborn as her name, Rebel Tate did what she had to do—for Elliott’s sake and her own. A dog whisperer with a keen sense of survival, she’s lived a tough life. Here she is, back in Angel Fire Falls, doing what she loves, next to a man she’s never forgotten. While the flame between them still smolders, neither is ready to get burned.

For Elliott, trusting Rebel is a gamble. For Rebel, sharing the secrets that sent her running is a risk. Now, while finishing a job that could define both their futures, two hearts are about to collide—and a second chance at true romance could be the greatest dare of all.

DARE ME AGAIN is releasing 15th January and will be available in
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DARE ME ONCE, the first book in Shelly Alexander’s Angle Fire Falls series is on sale for .99c now – find out more about it below and grab your copy today!

 

About DARE ME ONCE

Love is a risk worth taking in this sizzling romance about secrets and second chances…

Scarlett Devereaux’s life on the Gulf Coast went from riches to rags so scandalously fast that she barely had time to kiss her Jimmy Choos goodbye. Now, with a new alias (Lily Barns), a new budget (tighter than a pair of Spanx), and a new job on the vacation island of Angel Fire Falls, she’s daring to reinvent herself.

Single dad Trace Remington is devoted first and foremost to raising his young son, who has Asperger’s. With flying his floatplane and salvaging his family’s island resort too, he has time for little else. His brothers think he needs a break from his all-work-no-play lifestyle, so they goad him into action. In response to their dare, Trace asks a sexy tourist for her number, only to discover afterward that she’s the resort’s brilliant new hospitality manager.

The sparks of flirtation soon ignite into a flame too hot to ignore. But Lily and Trace both have pasts that threaten to tear them apart. Now, they’ll need to admit their secrets to each other…or risk ending their relationship before it really begins.

Grab DARE ME ONCE for 99¢ or read for free with KindleUnlimited

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About Shelly Alexander

Shelly Alexander is an Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories and a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, Shelly and her sister watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing contemporary romances that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She enjoys the arid climate of the beautiful Southwest where she lives with her husband and two toy poodles named Mozart and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

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