RELEASE DAY BLITZ       DARKEST BEFORE DAWN by MAYA BANKS

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Title: Darkest Before Dawn

Series: A KGI Novel

Author: Maya Banks 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: 27th October, 2015

Publisher: Berkley/NAL

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DBD SYNOPSIS

THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome” (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

 

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DBD REVIEW LABEL

 

Reviewed by Rachel McEwan and Sharon Thérèse Nuttall

There’s no disputing the fact that author has done her homework regarding factions in the Middle East. The plot is an innovative and an original one; the setting taking place in a country torn to shreds by religious fanatics who have no compunction about killing their own kind. Saying that, it took us awhile to get into this read as we felt that the first third of this standalone was a tad protracted. From our way of thinking, the story would have had so much more flow and impact on the reader if certain details and words hadn’t been constantly repeated. One must take into consideration that finding the correct synonym can be a difficult task; especially when one is describing parts of the body. However, having been well-informed of the heroine’s plight from the beginning, made us wonder why it was necessary to be reminded of it so often.

Honor ~ ‘’No one is ever guaranteed a tomorrow.’’

Honor, the female protagonist’s character development was extremely well-done. In her early twenties, she has a mind of her own in the respect that she had always known what she wanted to do with her life. Save the unfortunate. She is beyond strong in spirit and fortunately for her, incredibly strong in health and used to taking risks. Tolerating the direst situations, surviving moments of utter anguish never dampened her will to live. Her name couldn’t be more fitting for this read. However, there were times we literally shouted at our kindles as she really did play the martyr to a tee and it became very frustrating at times. She is witness to the most awful tragedy and in the split of a second, loses everything. The horror of what happened is vividly illustrated. Will help come and if so, by whom?

Honor ~ ‘’I don’t expect you to understand, But I can’t turn my back on these people. They have no one to fight for them. No one to aid them. And if I let terrorists sway me from my objective, then they win, regardless of whether I escape or not, whether I live or die.’’

Hancock is the ultimate mucho macho but with a difference. Once a professional soldier and now a mercenary for reasons to be revealed in the story, he is cold, surly, calculating and only concerned about his team’s welfare and getting the job done with as little fuss as possible. His loyalty to his men that never fails him is admirable. Relentless in his quest to eradicate one of the most sort after terrorists is personal, he will stop at nothing and oh boy, do things get complicated. If this means using a pawn to achieve his vengeance, he will. Now then, we had a discrepancy in how he went about it. We let him off the first time he did it, but a second and third time was for us, outrageous. We realise that his wrongdoings and the bad decisions he made were of importance for the build-up of storyline and he’ll pay dearly for them. Yes, he does change but to do so, he will suffer like he has never suffered before. It would be a good idea to have a box of tissues handy as there are quite a few tearful scenes.

Honor ~ ‘’Thank you.’’
Hancock ~ ‘’How can you thank me for being the instrument of your death?’’

Contrasting personalities come together and not the way we expected. After all, their internal feeling for each other and the external conflicts seemed an impossible feat for their love to flourish. In spite of the fact that we had to wait patiently for ardently written scenes, to see the raw passion that Hancock had for Honor was for us, overwhelming. Here, we have a guy who has never loved, isn’t in the slightest bit romantic, and has no time for such frivolities. But…does he fall hard! He is in awe of her; his respect she earned by showing him trust and more besides is going to be put to the test though.

Hancock ~ ‘’ Fuck the goddamn greater good. Especially when it comes to an innocent woman, whose only crimes were giving aid to people nobody else in the world gives a fuck about and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, is punished.’’

In conclusion, both of us thought there could have been more banter between Honor and Hancock in this standalone. As we mentioned earlier, we did find it a little difficult to get into the book and this was mostly due to the lack of dialogue. We are both big fans of dialogue in our reads as we find it’s the best way to connect with the characters and to fully understand their thoughts and feelings. Also, confusion ruled with names and places when there were crucial incidents taking place. The last chapters had us sitting on the edge of our seats, the epilogue… a little unrealistic but beautiful. Like most readers, we love a happy ending. We would most definitely read more works by Ms Banks as we thought this was a very well written book, albeit too lengthy for the content written about in this story.

 

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DBD AUTHORS BIO

 

Author Bio: Maya Banks is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 50 novels including the KGI series, Slow Burn series, and the Breathless and Surrender trilogies. A wife and mother of three, she lives in Texas.

 

DBD STALK MAYA

 

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                                  COVER REVEAL                                              IRON & BONE by CAT PORTER

IRON & BONE BANNER

Title: Iron & Bone 

Series: Lock & Key Series Book 3

Author: Cat Porter  

Genre: MC Romance

Release date: 29th December, 2015

PR & Marketing: Sassy Savvy Fabulous

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

 
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IRON & BONE SYNOPSIS

A knife that cut too deep,

a slash that still burns,

failures piled high and flammable.

I held my losses at bay with knives, with guns, my hands,

my bike, my brothers,

my iron will.

But not my heart.

No, my heart was the flame

that would light the match,

ignite the blaze.

I am the enforcer

The killer when called upon,

the ruthless hound on demand,

the one who cleans the mess left behind.

The protector.

I can make you bleed,

Smash you to pieces.

But she smashed all my excuses,

and I shattered hers.

For a split second she was mine,

but I will always be hers.

Some things,

really beautiful things,

you can’t hold onto forever.

 

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I&B Raw Whispers

 

Haven’t Read Cat Porter? Check out the other books in the Lock & Key Series!

 

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LOCK & KEY book 1 of the Lock & Key series

 

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RANDOM & RARE book 2 of the Lock & Key series

 

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IRON & BONE GIVEAWAY

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IRON & BONE AUTHORS BIO

Cat was born and raised in New York City, but also spent a few years in Europe and Texas along the way. As an introverted, only child, she had very big, but very secret dreams for herself. She graduated from Vassar College, was a struggling actress, an art gallery girl, special events planner, freelance writer, restaurant hostess and had all sorts of other crazy jobs all hours of the day and night to help make her dreams come true. She has two children’s books traditionally published under her maiden name. She now lives in Athens, Greece with her husband and three children, and freaks out regularly and still daydreams way too much. She is addicted to the History Channel, her iPad, her husband’s homemade red wine, really dark chocolate, and her Nespresso coffee machine. Writing keeps her somewhat sane, extremely happy, and a productive member of society.

 

IRON & BONE STALK CAT

 

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                                      BLOG TOUR                                             THE GROUND RULES REWRITTEN                                           by ROYA CARMEN

BANNER THE GROUND RULES

 

Title: The Ground Rules Rewritten

Series: The Ground Rules #2

Author: Roya Carmen

Release Date: 20th October, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Promoted by: Ardent Prose PR

 

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COVER THE GROUND RULES

 

KFF SYNOPSIS

 

Five simple rules. And it was very simple…until it wasn’t.

It could have been much worse. We weren’t thinking straight and had put everything on the line – risking our marriages. So when Weston ended the arrangement, it was for the best – for all of us. But I was still heartbroken. I thought I’d shatter into a million pieces. I didn’t, I survived. Not only did I survive, I came out stronger and ready to move on with my life.

But then…

Weston reaches out to me. With a few soft words, a gentle touch and a lingering gaze, he crumbles all my efforts.

Neither Gabe nor I want to start this again, and we are determined to fight the temptation. But Weston and Bridget are not taking no for an answer, and the pull between all of us is still so strong.

I tell myself I can handle it this time. This time, I am in the driver’s seat. This time, I am rewriting the ground rules.

 

KFF EXCERPT

 

Just Plain Dirty – Mirella and Gabe

He catches me staring and shoots me a playful smile. He knows exactly what I’m thinking. I walk over to the bedroom door and lock it – which is basically code for ‘let’s fuck…very quietly’.

He turns off the TV and slides to the edge of the bed, pulling me to him. “Tell me you didn’t fuck him.”

“I didn’t. I wouldn’t do that to you.”

He slides a hand under my tweed skirt. “But you wanted to. You wanted him.”

I grab his face and stare into his beautiful eyes. Words escape me.

He toys with my panties and presses his fingers against the cotton. I close my eyes. I’m already so aroused, and he’s barely touched me.

He teases. His stare is intense as he studies me intently – as if he’s trying to break through, to read my thoughts. He pulls at my panties, not taking his gaze off my face. I anticipate his next move. I want him so badly.

“Take them off,” I practically beg.

His smile is playful when he obliges. He doesn’t take his eyes off mine as he slides the cotton briefs slowly down my legs and over my feet. He kisses my knee, a soft peck.

His warm hand travels up the inside of my thigh. My breath catches when he reaches my sweet spot. He glides his fingers against my sex and I whimper at the sensation. His touch is so amazing.

His eyes close. A whisper of a growl escapes his mouth. “You’re so fucking wet, you dirty girl.”

 

KFF TEASERS

 

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THE GROUND RULES #1

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Romance writer, mom, book junkie. I have been writing for over ten years, finding my passion for romance in 2008. When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting, and writing – there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down at my laptop and making up my own stories – and if those stories should include beautiful men, a little romance, and a few steamy scenes, all the better!

 

STALK THE AUTHORS

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            COVER REVEAL ~ SWEET SOUL                             A Sweet Home Novel by Tillie Cole

 

Title: Sweet Soul

Series: Sweet Home #4 / Carrillo Brothers #3

Author: Tillie Cole

Release Date: 10th December, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

PURCHASE LINKS

SWEET HOME (Sweet Home #1)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA 

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SWEET ROME (Sweet Home #1.5)

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SWEET FALL (Sweet Home #2 / Carillo Boys #1)

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SWEET HOPE (Sweet Home #3 / Carillo Boys #2)

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Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmers daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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                                COVER REVEAL                                             CAPTURE ME by ANNA ZAIRES

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Title: CAPTURE ME

Author: Anna Zaires

Genre: Dark Romance

Release Date: December 8, 2015

Cover by Najla Qamber Design

Photo by Lindee Robinson Photography

Models: Sarah Stroven and Adam Stroven

 

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Blurb

A new dark romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Twist Me

She fears him from the first moment she sees him.

Yulia Tzakova is no stranger to dangerous men. She grew up with them. She survived them. But when she meets Lucas Kent, she knows the hard ex-soldier may be the most dangerous of them all.

One night—that’s all it should be. A chance to make up for a failed assignment and get information on Kent’s arms dealer boss. When his plane goes down, it should be the end.

Instead, it’s just the beginning.

He wants her from the first moment he sees her.

Lucas Kent has always liked leggy blondes, and Yulia Tzakova is as beautiful as they come. The Russian interpreter might’ve tried to seduce his boss, but she ends up in Lucas’s bed—and he has every intention of seeing her there again.

Then his plane goes down, and he learns the truth.

She betrayed him.

Now she will pay.

 

NOTE: Capture Me is the first book about Lucas & Yulia and has a cliffhanger-ish ending. It’s a long novella/short novel of approximately 45,000 words (about 200 pages) and is a spin-off from the Twist Me trilogy. It’s not necessary to have read that trilogy to enjoy Capture Me, but the book does contain major spoilers for books 2 and 3 of Twist Me.

 

PRE ORDER - capture me

 

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Excerpt

Author’s Note: This is from Yulia’s POV. For those of you familiar with the Twist Me series, this scene takes place in Moscow, when Lucas & Julian were there to meet with the Russian officials.

He steps into my apartment as soon as the door swings open. No hesitation, no greeting—he just comes in.

Startled, I step back, the short, narrow hallway suddenly stiflingly small. I’d somehow forgotten how big he is, how broad his shoulders are. I’m tall for a woman—tall enough to fake being a model if an assignment calls for it—but he towers a full head above me. With the heavy down jacket he’s wearing, he takes up almost the entire hallway.

Still not saying a word, he closes the door behind him and advances toward me. Instinctively, I back away, feeling like cornered prey.

“Hello, Yulia,” he murmurs, stopping when we’re out of the hallway. His pale gaze is locked on my face. “I wasn’t expecting to see you like this.”

I swallow, my pulse racing. “I just took a bath.” I want to seem calm and confident, but he’s got me completely off-balance. “I wasn’t expecting visitors.”

“No, I can see that.” A faint smile appears on his lips, softening the hard line of his mouth. “Yet you let me in. Why?”

“Because I didn’t want to continue talking through the door.” I take a steadying breath. “Can I offer you some tea?” It’s a stupid thing to say, given what he’s here for, but I need a few moments to compose myself.

He raises his eyebrows. “Tea? No, thanks.”

“Then can I take your jacket?” I can’t seem to stop playing the hostess, using politeness to cover my anxiety. “It looks quite warm.”

Amusement flickers in his wintry gaze. “Sure.” He takes off his down jacket and hands it to me. He’s left wearing a black sweater and dark jeans tucked into black winter boots. The jeans hug his legs, revealing muscular thighs and powerful calves, and on his belt, I see a gun sitting in a holster.

Irrationally, my breathing quickens at the sight, and it takes a concerted effort to keep my hands from shaking as I take the jacket and walk over to hang it in my tiny closet. It’s not a surprise that he’s armed—it would be a shock if he wasn’t—but the gun is a stark reminder of who Lucas Kent is.

What he is.

It’s no big deal, I tell myself, trying to calm my frayed nerves. I’m used to dangerous men. I was raised among them. This man is not that different. I’ll sleep with him, get whatever information I can, and then he’ll be out of my life.

Yes, that’s it. The sooner I can get it done, the sooner all of this will be over.

Closing the closet door, I paste a practiced smile on my face and turn back to face him, finally ready to resume the role of confident seductress.

Except he’s already next to me, having crossed the room without making a sound.

My pulse jumps again, my newfound composure fleeing. He’s close enough that I can see the gray striations in his pale blue eyes, close enough that he can touch me.

And a second later, he does touch me.

Lifting his hand, he runs the back of his knuckles over my jaw.

I stare up at him, confused by my body’s instant response. My skin warms and my nipples tighten, my breath coming faster. It doesn’t make sense for this hard, ruthless stranger to turn me on. His boss is more handsome, more striking, yet it’s Kent my body’s reacting to. All he’s touched thus far is my face. It should be nothing, yet it’s intimate somehow.

Intimate and disturbing.

I swallow again. “Mr. Kent—Lucas—are you sure I can’t offer you something to drink? Maybe some coffee or—” My words end in a breathless gasp as he reaches for the tie of my robe and tugs on it, as casually as one would unwrap a package.

“No.” He watches as the robe falls open, revealing my naked body underneath. “No coffee.”

 

About the Author

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Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works.

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels.

Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process.

In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband.

She loves hearing from her readers, so please don’t hesitate to contact her through her website or connect with her on Facebook, where she hangs out way too often. Also, please visit her husband and collaborator, Dima Zales, at www.dimazales.com and check out their fantasy & science fiction books.

 

Connect with Anna

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                                  RELEASE BLITZ                                   THE BEACH WEDDING by BELLA CRUISE

 

Title: The Beach Wedding

Author: Bella Cruise

Release Date: 23rd September, 2013

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Hosted by Give Me Books

 

 

 

Blurb

Three weeks. One quirky small-town. The wedding of the year. What could go wrong?

Big-city wedding planner Ginny Austen has landed the job of a lifetime. Her new celebrity clients want a smash hit TV wedding, and they’ve got their hearts set on a quirky home-town wedding. Her home-town: Pelican Key Cove, Florida.

Ginny hasn’t been home since she high-tailed out of town the night before her high-school graduation with nothing but a vintage pink Camaro and a broken heart. She’s spent years building a life of her own, but now she’s got just three weeks to face her past and put together a dream wedding — in a town that makes ‘eccentric’ its middle name.

Ginny may be determined to stay professional, but the inhabitants of Pelican Cove have other ideas. And between her crazy aunts, a TV producer who puts Macciaveli to shame, and a downright sexy former flame, nothing about this wedding is going to plan. Can she pull off the big day with her sanity – and heart – intact? Or will her reputation go down in flames — on national TV?

 

 

Purchase Links

 

AMAZON: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA 

 

 

 

Author Bio

 

 

Bella Cruise is a Florida girl turned California beach babe. She loves to travel and explore new places, and currently works as a nanny to two adorable little girls. For a close-up view of her crazy life (and favorite cupcakes!), you can find her on instagram @bellacruisewrites.

 

Author Links

                                RELEASE BOOST                                         THE END GAME by Kathy McCarthy

 

Title: The End Game

Author: Kate McCarthy

Release Date: 8th September, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age: New Adult

Hosted by Give Me Books Promotions

 

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Blurb

“Professional athletes are
pillars of their respective communities. They are heroes in the eyes of boys
and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively
represents their community.”

The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone
fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows that
better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football,
spiraled into scandal and shame.

But being a hero is easier said then done.
Especially when there are those who expected to see the great Brody Madden
fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove
them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard, and it broke me.

“At the time of going to print,
Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”

I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An
Australian native on an international scholarship, I was the female soccer
sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a
chip on his shoulder.

But a heart bursting with ambition and a driving
fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and
the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.

This is a story about love and a game that takes
everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure
makes you, or breaks you, and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where
two people’s end game will change everything.

 

 

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KKF’s 4.5 ★ review

by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall

My first impression was the style of writing the author has used. In present tense, first person and told from both protagonists’ points of view most definitely impressed me. Apart from these details which I value highly, was the incredible dialogue shared by all the characters. I also really appreciated the author’s foreword explaining why she had used the lingo she had. As an avid reader, I often find this issue frustrating. In Rome do as the Romans do but up to a certain point. There is nothing worse than a Brit speaking with American jargon and vice versa; in this case Australian, her preference being American English with some gem expressions from Down Under were more than I could have asked for. Ms McCarthy outdid herself in this respect, and there wasn’t one moment when her vocabulary strategy irritated me. Far from it! Its usage is rich in a story that flows faster than fast. My second impression was a foreboding feeling I had which was uncannily camouflaged in exceptional banter and one-liners that not only creased me up, but also left me in awe of this author and her leading personas. I was for a while, quite mistaken regarding what I thought was a foreseeable development of the story; never in a million years was I ready for an omnishambles on such a force ten scale either.

Quote ~ Jordan: “You need to trust that I’m doing the right thing.”

Even though I would have gladly jumped into my Kindle and given Brody a bunch of fives at one crucial moment in the story, I’d already fallen head of heels for him. Yeah, he’s irresistible! I really thought he was big-headed, but my unfounded opinion of him was blown to the wind when I learnt of his handicap, the bullying he had to endure, his learning capabilities which were holding him back, and the broken and insecure man he was. Brody is the best at what he does. Playing football, American football, is his life, his love. On the field, his technique and enthusiasm reflects on all the team. He plays well, his team mates do too. He plays badly, the team lose. His responsibility weighs heavily on him, more so because he has never had anyone, not even his family, to back him up or give him encouragement. In a nutshell, this guy broke my damn heart. I cried, sobbed and couldn’t believe that folk so close to him were able to do so much damage, be so cruel.

Quote ~ Brody’s father: “Is that what you want? For me to smack some manners into your sorry ass? We’ve given you everything. Everything!”

There is light in this story in the name of Jordan Elliott. This Australian beauty is so unpretentious that you can’t help but adore her. Quick witted, feisty and doesn’t have the time or inclination for fooling around but in the same instance, gives someone dear to her the benefit of the doubt…until she cracks. Yes, I found her personality a tad contrasting; nevertheless, by reading the story, you will understand why she is like she is. Intelligent and hard-working, she has earned her place in a federated soccer team in a uni in Austin, Texas through pure and utter determination.

Quote ~ Jordan: “I’m not a social butterfly. I’m a reluctant caterpillar in the corner. It’s awkward.”

Circumstances determine that two contrasting young people who should never have rubbed shoulders, do. Giving a helping hand to an alumni who is having trouble with his grades was the last thing Jordan needed with an agenda bursting at the seams. Despite all the hurdles, some of which are damaging to both their health and spirit, she tries her best, she tries to give this person confidence, and she becomes a fountain of undeniable love. I truly thought that it would be shattered to smithereens but it just goes to show one that love can move mountains!

Quote ~ Brody: “You can be anywhere, Jordan. Home will follow you if you follow your heart.”

Now let’s get down to what makes a good read exceptional. To my way of thinking, a plus was the hardly expected arousing scenes one wouldn’t expect in a read of this calibre. The sexual desire between Jordan and Brody was off limits; beautiful, tender and aggressively painted when asked for. I salute the author for this as they were written in an extremely tasteful manner. The secondary characters are just as well developed as the leading ones, and I have no doubt that if you do one-click which I highly recommend, one or two of them will bring your claws out. Who merits a mention is Jordan’s room-soccer-mate, Leah. She’s got Jordan’s back throughout one turmoil after another and I loved her. There is a moral to this story though. The pressure professional sportsmen and women have to endure has been well-explained and puts everything into perspective. Do you want a happy ending? Read to find out whether or not these two gorgeous, young and ambitiously driven folk find it. Bravo to you Ms McCarthy!

The below just knocked me backwards.

I fight to win
To conquer
I will persevere
and use my fear
And with the grace of God
I will triumph
over failure
Rise
Beneath defeat
And I will
fly

 
EXCERPT

Shutting the door, I walk up the slight incline behind Brody. He sits down at the top of the crest and pats the grassy spot beside him.

“You didn’t mention this part when you explained our date.”

“I can’t give away all my secrets now, can I?”

The grass is a thick blanket on the ground and when I stretch out flat, the rich, earthy scent of soil sweeps over me. My eyes lift to the sky and that’s when I get it. It’s perfectly clear and millions of stars are scattered diamonds twinkling above us—bright and magical.

“Besides,” Brody adds as he lies down beside me and sweeps out his arm, encompassing all of it. “How do you explain that?”

He’s right. You can’t. “It’s beautiful.”

“Is this what the stars are like for you back home?”

“No. Back home it’s different.”

“Different how?”

Homesickness swamps me. As beautiful as Texas is, it’s not Australia. Somehow the stars are always brighter where you belong. “Because there’s no place like home.”

“You’re wrong.”

I turn my head and stare at Brody. He’s not looking at me. His head is tilted toward the sky, eyes riveted on the beauty above him. My gaze follows the line of his profile. From the curl of his hair to the perfect line of his nose, down to the mouth I want kissing me right this very instant.

“Home’s not a place where you live. It’s a feeling.” His hand nudges my own. An invitation. I twine my fingers with his and he squeezes them lightly. “Whether it’s where you are, like the football field, or who you’re with.” Brody turns his head, looking at me when he says that. It’s comforting because it unites us somehow, like it’s slowly becoming us against the world. “You can be anywhere, Jordan. Home will follow you if you follow your heart.”

My breath hitches from the beautiful simplicity of his words. Before I can talk myself out of it, I roll over and straddle him. My knees hug his hips, and he stares up at me from my seated position. My pulse pounds a heavy beat in the silence. Thump, thump, thump. It’s so loud in my ears I’m sure he can hear it.

“Show me,” I breathe. A gleam lights his dark eyes, and he sucks his lower lip inside his mouth. He knows what I’m asking, but I spell it out anyway. “Show me one of those wicked things.”

In a move that steals the air from my lungs, he takes both my hands and pulls me down against the broad width of his chest. I’m rolled over and underneath him before I can blink. The squirm in my hips is instinctive, the ache between my thighs relentless.

“Careful what you ask for,” Brody says roughly, every exquisite inch of his body pressing down on mine.

“Why?”

His lips curve. “Because when I give it to you, it won’t be enough.”

My fingers trail down the side of his face, grazing the firm jaw, cupping his cheek in my palm. Foreboding swamps me. I’m falling hard into uncharted territory, and all I see is a broken mess at the end. How is this going to end well for either of us?

“You’re an arrogant man, Brody Madden,” I whisper.

He brings his face to mine, so close I see the brilliant gold in his eyes, like flecks of light in the dark. “And you, Jordan Elliott, will be the woman who brings me to my knees,” he whispers against my lips.

“Show me,” I beg on a shaky breath.

Brody’s lashes lower and he presses a kiss to the corner of my mouth. I tilt my chin upwards, inviting more. Rather than take my lips like I ache for him to do, he shifts sideways and begins nipping at my jaw. His breath is a rasp when he reaches my earlobe, taking it between his teeth. A sharp pinch from his bite forces a whimper from my throat.

“More?” he asks, drawing back to look at me.

“Is that even a real question?”

Brody chuckles as I slide my hand up and around his nape, dragging his mouth down to mine. He groans and kisses me gently, once, and then twice.

“Brody,” I whisper, and he kisses me again, forcing my mouth open hard like he can’t hold himself in check anymore. My hair is loose and he fists chunks of it in both hands while his tongue rubs against mine, hot and aggressive. It’s almost too much, and when I jerk away I’m left gasping.

Brody doesn’t pause. He ducks his head to my neck, his tongue tasting its way down. He finds my pulse point and sucks. It’s fierce and my back arches involuntarily. His mouth shifts further down, moving on before he leaves a mark.

Sitting up, he takes the neckline of my dress in both hands. Five dainty buttons hold it together. A single wrench will rip the flimsy fabric in two. He pauses and looks at me, inhaling raggedly. “Jordan … I don’t want to ruin it.”

My brow furrows. I glance to the hands poised on my dress. They’re tense, veins straining under his skin. My head is lost in a fog when my gaze returns to his face. “Ruin my dress?”

Brody groans, a deep sound of regret and frustration. “Us.”

“You don’t want to ruin us?”

He draws his hands away from the neckline of my dress. “No.”

“How would you do that?”

“I don’t know. I just get this feeling I’m going to.” He shifts away, moving off me and rolling to his back. I turn my head. Brody’s gaze is back on the stars. I watch his throat work as he swallows, the pulse in his neck pounding visibly. “All I’ve ever wanted is to be the best. Whatever it takes. I’ll do anything. That’s how I’ll ruin us, Jordan. How can something so sweet survive a sentiment so dark?”

I roll to my side, holding my head in my hand. Cupping his face with the other, I nudge gently until he’s looking at me. “I won’t let you.”

Brody’s voice is urgent, his eyes fierce. “Promise me.”

I can’t shake the apprehension. It’s set in my bones and when I speak it feels like a lie. “I promise.”

 

Author Bio

 

Kate McCarthy is an Australian, living in the pretty sunshine state of
Queensland with her two kids and two dogs, Rufus and Pete.

She loves to bake sweet stuff and eat it too. With an exciting degree in business, she works as an accountant by day, and an author by night. In between family life, she is most often found in bed reading, or at the beach, still reading.

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