BLOG TOUR ~ PROMISES by Aleatha Romig

Today we are thrilled to be on tour with New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig’s epic conclusion in the Web of Sin trilogy, PROMISES

The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity continues with the epic conclusion of the all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

Learn the truth behind the secrets and lies.

Surrounded by secrets and lies, can promises be believed?

Promises is book three—Sterling and Araneae’s epic conclusion—of the acclaimed Web of Sin trilogy.

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Reviewed by Tracey Lou on behalf of KFF

Another big wow from me! The EPIC conclusion has finally arrived. I’ve been Aleath’d and Leath’d, and I can honestly say never have I been so enthralled with a series like this one. I’ve always said, “No, I’m not a big fan of suspense, romantically or otherwise”. But this series has completely changed my point of view. I dare you not to enjoy it as much as I did!

Araneae and Sterling were a couple destined to come together, to be together. They were compatible in every way. However, the secrets that surrounded them both were about to be revealed. A journey which wasn’t easy, the dangers and the dangerous were always on the sidelines, waiting to cause havoc.

Sterling will protect Araneae at any cost even if it meant she wasn’t happy by the method he chose. She wants to live her life with the freedom to roam. Not locked up like a bird in a gilded cage. This certainly made their relationship more interesting and sometimes funny in dialogue.

Sterling and Araneae will take this last step on their journey together, trying to figure out what the secrets were that had been following Araneae all her life. No stone would be left unturned. Questions which we had throughout this series will once and for all be answered.

This was a love story that came with twists and turns, drama and laughter and lots of secrets. But will all be conquered? I loved how the author took this story and gave it so much angst, keeping me hooked right up to the end. I fell in love with Sterling. When he loves, he loves wholeheartedly. His childhood memories weren’t always happy but after meeting Araneae that was all about to change. To have a man love you as much as that warms your heart and gives hope to those ladies who are still looking for “the one” haha!

I know what you’re going to say. “It’s just a book”. But, it was a book that grabs from the first page and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride right alongside them. On a serious note, again I urge you to read this series. You won’t be disappointed. Congratulations to the author on another great read. #FANFORLIFE

 

The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity is coming back at you with an all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

I’m Sterling Sparrow. You’ve no doubt heard my name or read it on the top of tall buildings. There’s more to my business—my realm—than what is seen above ground.

Within the underbelly of one of America’s largest cities lives a world where a man’s word is either his most valuable tool or his most respected weapon. When my father ruled that world and that city, he promised me someone who would one day make my reign complete.

Since that day, long ago, Araneae McCrie has been mine.

She just didn’t know.

My father is now gone.

The city and the underbelly are now mine.

The time has come for me to collect who was promised to me, to shred her life of secrets, and make her who she’s always been—mine.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

Secrets is book one of the Web of Sin trilogy

For series information visit HERE

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ADD TO GOODREADS | KFF’s REVIEW

 

The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity continues with an all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

What is real?

What are lies?

Have you been Aleatha’d?

Lies is book two of the Web of Sin trilogy

AMAZON: U.S | U.K | CAN
iBooks | Kobo | B&N | Google Play

ADD TO GOODREADS | KFF’s REVIEW

 

 

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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BLOG TOUR ~ MICADEN’S MADNESS by V.F. Mason is now available!

Today we are thrilled to be on tour with V.F. Mason’s all-new romantic suspense, MICADEN’S MADNESS

#DarkRomance #SerialKillerRomance

 

If madness has a name…it’s hers.

She is an artist seeking solace.
He is a serial killer seeking vengeance.

She doesn’t remember.
He remembers it all.

She is broken.
He is obsessed.

She wants truth.
He wants revenge.

One of them is guilty.
One of them is innocent.

Both of them want to win.
And for that one of them has to die.

One-click your copy TODAY!

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4.5 Stars ~ Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

This is a dark romance that contains some triggers so a bit of warning to the sensitive readers. I must say though that this author is one of the best in this genre and this book got me hooked and emotionally invested in Brochan and Emerald’s tragic story.

When Emerald was seventeen, she spent the summer with her Nona. A privileged girl from a rich family she meets twenty-one-year-old Brochan and fell in love with him. But little did she know that their young love will turn their lives upside down and tear them apart and those around them. Is there hope for these two lovers?

Brochan/Micaden was quite taken with young Emerald and although his status isn’t quite up to Emerald’s family’s standards, he didn’t really care. Young love is all that matters, isn’t it? Brochan’s love turns into hate when he was taken away from Emerald and revenge is his ultimate goal.

“What happens when a victim and persecutor meet in a fight where there’s no hope in sight?
So many possibilities. Roles might shift or they won’t. Strengths might be tested or they aren’t. Emotions can cloud judgments or they can’t. One truth stays the same though. They live in the roles until one of them dies.
Let the game begin, and may the stronger one win.”
 

The passionate connection between Emerald and Brochan will build up your hope and will shatter your heart to pieces. Some events after their separation are quite harrowing, but are integral to the story and will make you understand how Micaden’s character developed into a vengeful monster. This narrative told in the past and present in alternating points of view is a well-written tale of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet but with a much darker side. The appearance of Lachlan and other characters in previous books by the same author is a welcome bonus, too. There are so many angles and layers to this dark story that will leave you emotional and at times, disturbed. This is the third book I’ve read by Mason and it won’t be the last. If you need a book that will fire up your guts and heart and if you are one of those who craves for stories that have more bite than a unicorn’s, then this one is for you.

EXCERPT

“Are you sure about this? There’s no going back.”

Hollow laughter echoes through the space. A familiar hatred settles deep inside me, fed by fury that knows no mercy. “Oh, I’m sure.”

Everyone has to pay for what they’ve done to me.

Especially her.

About the author

V.F.Mason always loved reading books and had quite a few fights with her momma over the genre she liked (romance, duh!) She studied film-making and thought that would feed her desire for stories, but that didn’t happen. Finally, when she was tired of all those voices in her head, she sat down and wrote a book. It was a huge decision to make and she thanks her friends and family for supporting her in it. When she is not writing, she can be found with her friends doing all sorts of crazy things or reading recent romance books that were written by her favorite authors.

Connect with V.F.!

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THE KISS THIEF by L.J. Shen is now LIVE!

Today we are thrilled to be sharing by L.J Shen’s all-new contemporary 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.

 

AVAILABLE NOW!

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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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BLOG TOUR ~ VERITY by Colleen Hoover

“Sublimely creepy with a true Hoover pulse. I’ve been waiting on a thriller like this for years.” Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author

Verity, an all-new romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, is available now!

Verity_Amazon_iBooks.jpg

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity likely didn’t intend for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

VERITY AN TWO.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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REVIEWED BY DONNA & SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF

The mere fact that Verity is written by one of our fave authors was enough for us to one-click. Hoover’s expanded her writing genre and delved into psychological thriller romance, and to say we were impressed by this change would be putting it mildly. We are both ardent women-driven readers of twisty, suspenseful-drama-love-stories novels, and although our reflections on the storyline were open-minded, we still had that critical eye on it. Consuming us from the very beginning, we couldn’t put this nail-biting read down. Hoover has woven the unimaginable, made it come to life and more importantly, built a solid and convincing narrative oozing with tension. Something else which caught our attention was how the author’s concentrated more on inner thoughts and much less on dialogue, making the protagonist’s internal conflicts feel incredibly realistic. Well, the other player’s recount of happenings simply left us aghast. To make things even better, clues given made us wait anxiously for the pieces to fall into place while in the interim, other developments threw us off-kilter. Punches are delivered right, left and centre so if you like being caught off balance, go in blind as we did. You won’t regret it.

Lowen’s a likeable character we found ourselves rooting for. Whether it was correct to do so remains to be seen as this story touches on an issue which might not be to everyone’s liking. A romance writer finding it difficult to make ends meet, she’d taken on a job to finish a project she really didn’t want for reasons we’d rather not disclose. What we can say is she’s lacking in self-confidence and lived a lonely life because of her inhibitions. Stumbling on secrets that should never have come to light, our concern for her increased with every page we turned. It was really a case of should or shouldn’t she confess, well-knowing her findings could destroy someone she’d started having feelings for. But how long can one go on when someone else’s secrets consume you night and day. What we learnt was nightmarish, making us wonder how on earth Lowen would be able to come out of the whole ghastly situation unscathed. It certainly felt unlikely most of the time.

Verity. She is the epitome of the perfectly perfect anti-heroine. Hoover’s created this woman’s character to a tee. You’re not supposed to like her, not even a teensy-weensy bit. We tried to feel sorry for her but reading on, all we saw was negativity in her persona and what she had done was so egotistically outrageous, we gasped in horror. She’s a nasty piece of work you’ll seriously want to alienate from the story, giving everyone around her some breathing space. But the question is, will she linger, making life even more insufferable than it already is?

You will fall head over heels with Jeremy. Man, how this gorgeous guy has survived so far is incomprehensible; no options to alleviate his damaged soul seem to exist. Or do they? Life goes on, his daily routine couldn’t appear more mundane until… Nope, we’re not letting on since it is for you to discover how he ticks and who would give him a glimmer of hope!

Told in present tense first-person from one of the character’s point of view, it’s difficult to differentiate between the two main protagonists. Both are essential for the story’s growth, and seeing as the other has plenty of words to convey, the book’s narrative structure is an interesting one. A suspense where nothing’s ever clear-cut, you think you’ve got it sussed only to find out you’re way off the mark. And even though towards the end a surprise and a half sneaked up on us, we thought what had been revealed a tad peculiar and for this reason, we’ve awarded Verity 4.5 stars. We felt certain goings on lacked development and could have given the ending even more impact than it already had. That being said, we found Hoover’s daring venture positive and we’re hoping to see more on these lines in the near future. Bravo!

VERITY TEASER TWO.jpg

EXCERPT

© 2018 Colleen Hoover
All rights reserved. 

 
“What are you wearing?” Corey is staring down at my shirt, perplexed, just now noticing it despite having spent the last fifteen minutes with me.
I look down at my oversized shirt. For a moment, I forgot how ridiculous I look. “I spilled coffee on my other shirt this morning and had to change.”
“Whose shirt is that?”
I shrug. “Probably yours. It was in my closet.”
“You left your house in that? There wasn’t something else you could have worn?”
“It doesn’t look high fashion?” I’m being sarcastic, but he doesn’t catch it.
He makes a face. “No. Is it supposed to?”
Such an ass. But he’s good in bed, like most assholes.
I’m actually relieved when the conference room door opens and a woman walks in. She’s followed, almost comically, by an older man walking so closely behind her, he bumps into the back of her when she stops.
“Goddammit, Barron,” I hear her mumble.
I almost smile at the idea of Goddammit Barron actually being his name.
Jeremy enters last. He gives me a small nod that goes unnoticed by everyone else.
The woman is dressed more appropriately than I am on my best day, with short black hair and lipstick so red, it’s a little jarring at nine thirty in the morning. She seems to be the one in charge as she reaches for Corey’s hand, and then mine, while Goddammit Barron looks on. “Amanda Thomas,” she says. “I’m an editor with Pantem Press. This is Barron Stephens, our lawyer, and Jeremy Crawford, our client.”
Jeremy and I shake hands, and he does a good job of pretending we didn’t share an extremely bizarre morning. He quietly takes the seat across from me. I try not to look at him, but it’s the only place my eyes seem to want to travel. I have no idea why I’m more curious about him than I am about this meeting.
Amanda pulls folders out of her briefcase and slides them in front of Corey and me.
“Thank you for meeting with us,” she says. “We don’t want to waste your time, so I’ll cut right to the chase. One of our authors is unable to fulfill a contract due to medical reasons, and we’re in search of a writer with experience in the same genre who may be interested in completing the three remaining books in her series.”
I glance at Jeremy, but his stoic expression doesn’t hint at his role in this meeting.
“Who is the author?” Corey asks.
“We’re happy to go over the details and terms with you, but we do ask that you sign the non-disclosure agreement. We would like to keep our author’s current situation out of the media.”
“Of course,” Corey says.
I acquiesce, but I say nothing as we both look over the forms and then sign them. Corey slides them back to Amanda.
“Her name is Verity Crawford,” she says. “I’m sure you’re familiar with her work.”
Corey stiffens as soon as they mention Verity’s name. Of course we’re familiar with her work. Everyone is. I hazard a glance in Jeremy’s direction. Is Verity his wife? They share a last name. He said downstairs that his wife is a writer. But why would he be in a meeting about her? A meeting she isn’t even here for?
“We’re familiar with the name,” Corey says, holding his cards close.
“Verity has a very successful series we would hate to see go unfinished,” Amanda continues. “Our goal is to bring in a writer who is willing to step in, finish the series, complete the book tours, press releases, and whatever else is normally required of Verity. We plan to put out a press release introducing the new co-writer while also preserving as much of Verity’s privacy as possible.”
 

 

Meet Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of thirteen novels and multiple novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

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#BRAZILLANT! ~ DAY ELEVEN OF A BOOK TOUR BRAZILIAN STYLE

DAY ELEVEN

The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon, Franggy Yanes & GERGO JONAS

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *

HAVE YOU MISSED ANY OF The #Brazilliant adventure tour?

DAY ONE & TWOTHREEFOURFIVE, SIXSEVEN

  DAY EIGHTnine & TEN

DAY ELEVEN ~the #brazilliant adventures

 

We’re back in Rio after seeing some amazing places as we travelled around Brazil, but now it’s serious business. Today we have lunch with the volunteer helpers for the Gift Day tomorrow, and spend the afternoon meeting bloggers and answering their questions.

Unpacking my case again, this time in Rio, my roomie, Martinha has traded me in for our friend Solange, but I upgrade with Carol Sales, blogger from Beauty and the Beastly Books and Carol Vitali.

Then it’s back on the minibus and off to the blogger event.

We find a pile of the new anthology to sign, Para Você.

It has three stories, one written by me and Stu, one by the lovely Paula Scott, and one by Sofia Silva, an author from Lisbon.

It’s exciting to see the paperback of EXPLOSIVO, the Portuguese language version of my military romantic TICK TOCK.

    

The Brazilian bloggers are great, and in point, posting within seconds, which is awesome.

It’s hard to believe that the adventure is almost over. Tomorrow (Saturday) we have our Gift Day event, and then Monday, it’s back home to cold and rainy UK.

Look out for one final post from our #brazilliant adventures with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends Forever or in Portuguese at The Gift Box Blog

#BRAZILLANT! ~ DAY NINE OF A BOOK TOUR BRAZILIAN STYLE

DAY NINE

The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon, Franggy Yanes & GERGO JONAS

with The Gift Box Team,

Roberta and Esther

*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *

HAVE YOU MISSED ANY OF The #Brazilliant adventure tour?

DAY ONE & TWO HERE

DAY THREE HERE & FOUR HERE

DAY FIVE HERE, SIX HERE & SEVEN HERE

DAY EIGHT HERE

🇧🇷 DAY NINE ~the #brazilliant adventures

 

The hot weather continues and I’m seriously tempted to spend the day by the pool, but it would be a shame not to take the opportunity to see more of this diverse and beautiful country.

Besides, I’m told that today’s trip is to a chocolate factory near the historic beach town of Ilhéus. Well, why didn’t you say?!

I imagine a smart, cool factory with melted chocolate being poured into moulds, and then invited to a tasting session.

Instead, our driver drops us off in a lush, green, hilly landscape, where the undergrowth steams from recent rain. This is the Yrerê cacao plantation where the beans that make chocolate are grown.

Cacao is a huge part of the economy in Bahia state. When the crop failed due to blight in the 1980s, only 20% of the plants survived and the price of chocolate shot up.

We slog upwards, some of us barefoot when the path becomes underwater until our guide leads us to a table full of cacao pods the size of Stu’s fist.

Using a machete, he opens them up one by one and invites us to suck the cacao beans covered in a sweet, pale flesh. It’s surprisingly delicious, even though it looks unappetising. They also make jam/jelly from this.

Squashing ants underfoot, we sweat our way through the dense foliage, the humidity and heat intense. Stu name’s me Jane of the Jungle due to my enormous floppy hat. I don’t care how dumb it looks; without it I’ll be even pinker. Even the Brazilian authors are uncomfortable in the heat, although Andy says that her home in the north near the Amazon is hotter!

At last, we head to the plantation house. First, we are shown the enormous sheds where they dry the beans for 15 days.

Then finally, blessed shade and a chance to drink cacao juice and taste chocolate.

Fran is in photography heaven, even though he has a heavy rucksack of equipment.

We taste sugared cacao beans, then 80% dark chocolate, 72% and 65%. It’s all good, and I’m left even more respectful of chocolate and the effort it takes to make it.

I buy souvenirs for friends and family, but it’s even money if the chocolate will make it back to the UK…

Tomorrow is a work day where I’ll interview as many of the team as I can. I guess being nosy about people puts me in the perfect place at the perfect time 😊

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventures when we hit the road again with @thegiftboxbr on my Facebook page and Kindle Friends Forever  or in Portuguese at The Gift Box Blog and Jane Harvey-Berrick

 

 

BLOG TOUR ~ ONLY LOVE by Melanie Harlow

Heartfelt, beautiful and sexy! There’s a reason Melanie Harlow is one of my absolute favorite romance authors, and Only Love is the latest example of why she holds that spot. Ryan and Stella’s love touched my heart!” Lauren Blakely, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Only Love, an all-new sexy standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is now available!

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A gorgeous former Marine with a tortured soul.

The beautiful, compassionate therapist living next door.

A meddlesome grandma determined to get them together.

I was expecting a proposal on my birthday, and I got dumped instead.

How could I have been so clueless?

Grams knew exactly how to distract me.

The “cute boy next door” who’s been helping her with yard work clearly needs a little therapy. Who better to call than her newly single therapist granddaughter?

She even fakes dementia to get me to visit, and now that I’m here she’s doing everything in her power to throw us together.

Not that I’m complaining. Ryan is the sexiest man I’ve ever met–I mean the full package, from the chiseled jaw to the massive shoulders to the rippling abs. (And yes, his package is full, and he knows exactly how to deliver it.) He makes me want to get out of my head and follow my heart. He makes me want to take chances I never thought I’d take.

He also makes me want to take my clothes off. A lot.

But he’s moody and challenging–one minute he’s an open book, and the next he’s completely closed off. He holds me like he’ll never let go, but insists he wants to be alone.

Some wounds are so deep, only love can heal them.

How can I convince him to let me try?

Download your copy today!

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Cover Designer: Hang Lee

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Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

This author never disappoints when it comes to giving her readers an enjoyable fun romance with a touch of angst. This is the story of Stella, the eldest sister of Emme and Maren. This is the third book of The One and Only series but can be read as a standalone.

Stella is a successful therapist whose heart was broken when her fiancé dumped her on her birthday. Now that her sisters are getting married she feels suddenly left out. Thank goodness she has a meddling and nosey grandma who won’t stop at playing cupid.

Ryan is our wounded hero, a divorced ex-Marine and a loner. He has learned to shut out the world and can be such a jerk. Helping out his next door neighbour led him to meeting Stella and you can feel the instant attraction between the two.

Told in multiple points of view this well-written love story features interesting characters. Gram’s attempts at matchmaking will make you giggle and smile and one can empathize with Stella’s insecurities. She is strong but has some self-esteem issues. And then there’s Ryan, emotionally closed-off and aloof, you will surely fall in love with this broken hero. Some readers might not be keen on insta-love and this book is a typical example. The author spins Stella and Ryan’s story that is pure escapism but is balanced out when PTSD is also extensively discussed. The secondary characters provide a multi-faceted side to the story and Ryan’s best friend Mack definitely stands out. According to the author’s notes, Mack will have his own book in the near future and I am looking forward to hearing his own story. I really enjoyed reading this book it gives you all the feels and warms your heart.

EXCERPT

 
“Ryan?”
Startled, I turned around to find Stella standing a few feet away on the grass, wearing a T-shirt and pajama pants, arms crossed over her chest. Her feet were bare, and her hair was loose around her shoulders and a little messy, like she’d already been asleep. Thinking about her in bed did things to my insides. “Hey. Did I wake you?”
“I was awake. My windows are open, and I heard something and thought I saw you through the window. What are you doing?”
“Uh, building you a swing. But it was supposed to be a surprise.” Now that she’d caught me at it, I was kind of embarrassed. What if she thought this was stupid?
“You built me a swing?” She came a little closer, and I realized she might not be able to see it in the dark. The moon was only a sliver tonight.
“Yeah.” I grabbed one of the ropes. “Right here.”
She stared at it. “Why?”
“I’m not entirely sure.”
Her eyes met mine, and my heart pumped harder.
“Want to try it?” I asked.
“Like right now?”
I moved behind it and held both ropes steady. “Come sit.”
She hesitated, and I thought maybe she was going to tell me to quit being weird and go home before she called the cops, but after a few silent seconds, she came toward me. Turned around. Lowered herself to the seat and closed her fingers around the ropes.
“Well?” I asked. “How does it feel? Like you’re a kid again?”
“This was very kind of you, but not necessary.” Her tone was stiffer than her posture.
“Stella.”
She didn’t answer.
“I’m sorry.”
“About what?”
“Last night.”
“You’re sorry about what we did?”
“I think I’m more sorry about what we didn’t do.”
Her head turned sharply, and she looked at me over one shoulder. “You sure know how to confuse a girl.”
“One of my many talents.”
She looked straight ahead again. “Tell me about some other ones. And give me a push.”
I smiled, even though she couldn’t see it, and gave her a little nudge. “I’m fast.”
“Oh really?”
“Yeah.” I gave her a little harder push.
“Track team in high school?”
“Tried. Didn’t take.”
“Why not?”
“They expected me to show up for practice.”
“Ah.” She straightened her legs and leaned back in the swing, her hair dangling behind her. “Tell me another one.”
I gave her another push. “I’m good with my hands.”
Her laugh floated back to me. “I have observed this about you already. Give me another one.”
I pushed her again, just so I could feel her hair brush against my hands. “I’m not afraid of anything.”
“No? Nothing?”
“Nothing I can think of.”
“Hmm.”
“Are you analyzing me now?”
“Kind of. I mean, you can’t say something like that to a therapist and expect her not to reflect on it a little bit, right?”
“And?”
“And what?”
“Do you think I’m a liar or a fool?”
“Neither,” she answered. “I think you mean what you say. I think you only lie when you have to, and even then, you hate it. And if I dug a little deeper—which I won’t, because my sisters have told me it’s annoying and intrusive—I think I might discover that it’s because above all, you value your honor. Your word.”
For a moment, I was too stunned to think or move or speak. Then I said, “I take it back.”
“Take what back?”
“What I said. That I’m not afraid of anything.”
“Oh? And what are you afraid of?”
She swung back toward me and I caught her around the waist. Put my lips to her ear. “Your ability to read my mind.”
Beneath my arms I could feel her chest expand and contract faster. “I’m sorry, Ryan. I know I shouldn’t say those—”
“Come home with me,” I said, my voice raw with something like thirst. I pressed my lips to her throat and breathed in her scent. I let one hand move toward her breast. I waited for an elbow to the ribcage, a cry for help, a slap across the face. Because if she could read my mind right now, she’d know exactly what I wanted to do to her—and it was a long, detailed list.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes.”
 

Meet Melanie

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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