Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweet Possession Chapter One by J. Daniels

Title: Sweet Possession
Series: Sweet Addiction #2
Author: J Daniels
 Release Date: September 19, 2014


A sassy, in-your-face baker. A panty-stealing, dirty-talking accountant. And a bathroom quickie that changed their lives forever.

Wedding hook-ups never amount to anything.

Unless that hook-up knocks you on your ass.

For Dylan Sparks and Reese Carroll, the big day can’t arrive soon enough. Dylan, stressed to the max from overbearing mothers and last minute preparations, struggles to keep her sanity. As for Reese, he’s fighting to not only keep his bride-to-be safe from creepy investors, but also to make it to the actual wedding day without losing his mind in the process.

Throw in a crazy group of friends, and a bachelor/bachelorette party weekend getaway, and you have a recipe for the sweetest wedding of the year.

Reese Carroll and Dylan Sparks cordially invite you to read Sweet Possession.

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Why do people even bother with weddings?
I know, that sounds insane coming from a person who makes a living off creating decadent wedding cakes for the happy couples. The crazy-in-love future Mr. and Mrs. are what keeps Dylan’s Sweet Tooth afloat, and without weddings, I wouldn’t be able to afford my rent. Not to mention the fact that if it weren’t for dumbass ex-boyfriend weddings, there’s a chance I would’ve never have met Reese and I honestly can’t imagine not having him in my life. But in my defense, I’ve never had to sit and listen to hours of debating whether cotton-blend or silk napkins are the best choice for my big day.
Until now.
Joey lets out an irritated sigh and gestures toward the direction of my mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law who are loudly arguing at my consultation table. “This shit makes me want to drink at 9:00 a.m. How many times have I suggested to you that we keep hard liquor in the back? We could totally make a drinking game out of this mess.”
I tilt my head up to meet his eyes. “What, and take a shot every time one of them utters the phrase, ‘this will be the wedding I’ve always dreamed of’? We’d be tanked before the lunch rush.”
He nods, smiling over his coffee cup. “Exactly, and we’d be completely oblivious to this annoying discussion that you couldn’t care less about anyway.”
Joey’s right. I really didn’t care what type of fabric the napkins were; I really didn’t care about much of anything. I’ve pretty much left everything in the hands of my trusted best friend who could plan a wedding wearing a blindfold. I only had a few stipulations: the cake and my dress. That’s it. Napkins? Who the f*ck cares about napkins?
He slides closer to me, dropping his voice to a hushed whisper although, with the noise level currently booming through the bakery, I’ll definitely be the only one hearing him. “I knew your mother was a little nutty when it came to marrying you off, planning this shit since you were nineteen and all, but Reese’s mother is bat-shit crazy. Did you hear her say she wanted to come out with us for your bachelorette party? Can you imagine?”
I shrug once before leaning against the counter. “I don’t even know what I want to do for that. Maybe we’ll just have like a spa day or something and if that’s the case, who cares if she tags along?”
His mouth drops open, letting escape a loud, dramatic gasp. “Um, no. We will be going to a strip club if I have to throw you over my shoulder and pull a Reese on you myself. That’s what you do for bachelorette parties. Why the hell do my two best friends not know that?”
“Excuse you. Juls’ bachelorette party didn’t involve any naked men, and we still had a great time. Who says we have to go to a strip club?”
“I do,” he says through a tense jaw. “The only reason I let that shit slide for Juls was because I was in charge of babysitting her dumbass sister, and I knew I’d be distracted if I had a bunch of d*cks in my face.”
I arch my brow at him. “Isn’t that a typical Saturday night for you?” We both chuckle together, and my attention is suddenly drawn to my mother who is throwing napkins into the air.
“Dylan, sweetheart, silk or cotton-blend?” she asks, tapping her foot on the hard tile.
I flick my gaze between the two mothers who are both silently pleading with me to pick their choice. If I had to guess, I’d say my mother wants the silk, but Maggie Carroll is giving off a bit of a fancy vibe right now. She’s head to toe in designer clothing, which is screaming silk at the moment. Shit. I really don’t care one way or the other, but who the hell do I side with on this one? I grimace and nervously tap on the glass display case. “Um, does it matter? They’re napkins. People are going to be wiping their mouths with them.”
“It matters a great deal,” Maggie says, picking up two napkin swatches and carrying them over to me. “The silk is much more sophisticated. And given the location you’ve chosen for the reception, I think that’s the one you should go for.”
“But the cotton blend comes in this antique-white color that would go beautifully with the pale-gray bridesmaids dresses,” my mother adds, joining Maggie’s side.
Jesus. Since when does it matter if the napkins match the bridesmaid dresses?
I look back and forth between the two of them before turning toward Joey. “Thoughts?”
“Nope. I’m afraid you’re on your own there, cupcake.” He backs away and sips his coffee, leaving me alone in my misery.
I reach out and feel both choices between my fingers. “Um, well, I guess the cotton is most likely cheaper? So, why don’t we go with that?”
Maggie gently lays her hand on top of mine. “Oh, sweetie, money is not an issue. If you want the silk napkins…”
“She just said she wants the cotton blend,” my mother states with a firm tone. “Which I agree with, sweetheart. Beautiful choice.”
“But, Helen, the silk would be so much more… elegant.”
I drop my forehead to my hands and groan my irritation while the two of them continue to hash it out. Who cares about napkins! Am I completely crazy for not giving a shit about this tiny, insignificant detail? The guests could wipe their mouths on their coat sleeves for all I care.
This is how it’s been for the past six months. Ever since Reese and I got engaged, our mothers have been in a battle of who can plan the better wedding, and poor Juls and I have been stuck in the middle, trying to rein in the madness. They’ve been so crazy about this whole thing, I’ve found myself contemplating the benefits of a Vegas wedding. Unfortunately, my soon-to-be husband is dead-set on marrying me in front of all our families and is having no part of that discussion. Every time I suggest he steal me away for a quickie wedding, he just shuts me up with his mouth, or his cock. And because I’m weak with lust around that man, and given the fact my head is sure to explode soon from all this momma drama, I bring it up. Often.
The front door chimes and I look up, smiling as my best friend strolls into the bakery. She takes one look at the mothers waving napkin swatches into the air and immediately goes into wedding-planner mode.
“Ohhhh, no. There will not be any changes made. Give me those.” She snatches the napkin samples from the two mothers who both stare at her with shocked expressions. This is the Juls I know and love, the one who knows how to run shit. “This wedding is happening in ten days, and all decisions are final. And really, the napkin issue? Again?” She motions toward me with a crumpled-up napkin in her hand. “The bride-to-be doesn’t care about the napkins. In fact, you two are the only people I know who have ever cared about the napkins. And I’ve planned over one hundred weddings. For the love of God, let it go.”
My mother crosses her arms over her chest and sneers at Juls. “You know what, Julianna? One of these days, when you’re planning your daughter’s wedding, you’ll care about the napkins.”
“I seriously doubt that. Besides, I’m planning on having all boys.”
Maggie and my mother grab their purses off the consultation table while Juls smiles in her minor victory over the two of them. The moms both walk around the counter and smother me with affection.
“We’re going to go swing by the venue to take another look around,” Maggie says as she releases me from a hug. “Now, don’t forget to let me know about the bachelorette party. I’m all in.”
“Ha!” Joey yells from the kitchen.
I smile and clear my throat loudly, hoping to cover up the end of my dear assistant’s crack-up. “Tell Mr. Carroll I said hello.”
My mother kisses my cheek and smiles. “I’m sure the napkins you originally picked out will suffice.”
“Mom,” I say in a warning tone. “There’s still a chance I’ll convince Reese to cancel this whole thing and get hitched in Vegas.” Her eyes widen, along with Maggie’s who swivels in place to gawk at me. “Don’t push it.”
“That’s not even funny,” she retorts, swatting at me with her clutch.
Once the two wedding-obsessed mothers exit the shop, Juls lets out an ‘I’m glad I’m not in your shoes’ chuckle and Joey reemerges from the back. I slouch back against the counter top, feeling a Vegas wedding now more than ever. “I cannot wait until all this is over with. How I’ve managed to survive the last six months without being heavily-medicated or drunk off my ass twenty-four hours a day is beyond me.”
“Reese’s mother, though she has impeccable fashion sense, is out of her mind. I am not having a f*cking chaperone at your bachelorette party,” Joey states with a shake of his head. Apparently, keeping my future mother in-law away from whatever I decide to do for my last night of freedom is his only concern.
Juls tosses the napkin swatches into the trashcan, which will hopefully be the last time I ever lay eyes on them. She returns to her spot on the other side of the display case. “Speaking of which, what are we doing for that, anyway? You wanna go to Clancy’s like we did for mine? That was fun.”
Joey slams his hand down on the counter, gaining our attention immediately. “For f*ck’s sake. What the hell is wrong with you two? Spa days? Clubs that have been played out? I wanna do things that I’ll be ashamed to tell people about. Let me live, damn it.”
“I’m sorry, but is this your bachelorette party? Did Billy pop the question and you’ve decided to keep that information from us?” Juls asks, biting back her smile. It cracks through and she winks at Joey whose mood has suddenly waned, no doubt in response to the reminder that he isn’t engaged yet.
He shrugs dismissively. “Whatever. You bitches can celebrate with watered-down drinks and facials. Just don’t be surprised if I bail on it.”
I slide closer to him and wrap my arms around his waist, pressing my face into his shirt. Tilting my head up, I see him smiling down at me. “I’ll choose something fun. You have to be there; it wouldn’t be the same without you.”
“She’s right.” Juls rounds the counter and mimics my position against Joey’s back. “We’d miss you terribly, JoJo.”
He grunts above us. “You’re lucky I’d do anything for either one of you.” Juls and I both unlock our death grips from him and stand side by side. “But I swear to Christ, there better at least be a cake shaped like a penis at this thing.”
“Chocolate or vanilla?” I ask teasingly.
He smiles, bending down and removing a half-empty tray of pastries from the display case. “Chocolate. I’ve never had black d*ck.”
Juls and I both chuckle as he walks toward the kitchen, giving us a scandalous eyebrow raise over his shoulder.
“So, I have a favor to ask you.” Juls pulls me into the far corner behind the bakery counter, clearly wanting to put distance between this favor and Joey. Oh, Lord. My best friend doesn’t ask me for many favors but when she does, they’re usually whoppers. A certain wedding dress she made me try on months ago comes to mind. I motion for her to spill it, and she eyes me up nervously. “Umm… so, Brooke got fired from her job at that bank. Apparently, she was caught blowing one of the other tellers during work hours.”
“Good Lord.”  That sounds about right, though. Brooke Wicks was in the running for horniest bitch in Chicago, competing solely with Joey.
“Yeah, she needs a job and fast; otherwise, she’ll lose her apartment.” My eyes widen, the realization of her favor hitting me. “And since you’re so busy at the shop…”
“No f*cking way.”
 She fists both hands at her side. “Oh, come on, Dyl. She’s having trouble finding something, and she’s been looking for over a month.” Her face softens and she reaches out to me, pulling my hand into hers. “Please? If she loses her apartment, she has to move in with Ian and me. And that shit can’t happen. I love my sister, but I can’t live with her.”
“What about moving back in with your parents?”
“Not an option. She and my mom would kill each other.” She pauses and squeezes my hand gently. “I really want to help her out.”
Damn it. This has bad news written all over it, but I have trouble saying no to Juls. She’s always been there for me. Always. I groan and her eyes light up. “Fine. She can start Monday. But don’t think I won’t fire her just because she’s your sister.” She pulls me into a hug with an excited squeal. I cringe as Joey strolls through the doorway, coming from the kitchen. He grins, adorably oblivious to the information that will surely send him into a shit-fit. “I should really make you drop this bomb on him,” I mumble under my breath.
“Oh, relax. It’s not that big of a deal.”
“Yeah, okay. We’ll see about that.”
We both release each other and Juls spins on her heels, walking over toward Joey and placing her hand on his shoulder. “Don’t freak out.”
His eyes widen with a curious fear. “If I don’t get my penis cake, I’ll disown both of you. Nobody comes between me and my d*ck-shaped sweets.”
I walk up to him and brace myself for the reaction that is sure to blow the roof off this building. “Joey. JoJo. Bestest friend.” He rolls his eyes as I play with the string on my apron, wrapping it around my finger. “You know how busy we’ve been lately with custom orders and all the spring weddings coming up? It’s getting pretty crazy in here, and I think maybe it’s time I hired another employee.”
“That’s fantastic.” His body relaxes and he glances between Juls and myself. His brows set into a hard line. “Why the hell do I have a feeling I’m about to regret those words?”
“Just remember how much you love us,” Juls says. “And this… addition will allow you and Dylan to spend more time together. The benefits are sure to outweigh any concern you might have.”
I pause, waiting to see if he’ll pick up on the clues that are obvious to me. It only takes him a few seconds; the reaction spreads through him like a wild fire.
He squeezes his eyes closed tightly, reaching up and rubbing his temples with his fingers. “Please tell me this addition is a blind monkey, because they would surely get more accomplished than who I fear you’re about to say.”
“Brooke could be a good addition, Joey,” I state with a mild assurance.
“Are you insane? Why the f*ck would you hire that mess?”
Juls shoves his arm. “Hey! She’s my sister, and she’s been through a lot.”
“A lot of what? D*ck? Dylan, this is not a good idea.”
I limply shrug. I’m not at all surprised he’s reacting this way; in fact, I predicted it. But, unlike Joey, I’m willing to give Brooke the benefit of the doubt. And as long as she doesn’t try to molest him like the day before Juls’ wedding, things shouldn’t get too hostile. I gotta give the girl a chance. “She needs a job or she’ll lose her apartment.”
He throws his hands into the air. “Oh, I’m sorry. How is that our problem?”
“Joey,” Juls scolds. “Don’t be so rude.”
“She’s on a probationary period. If she messes up, I’ll fire her without thinking twice about it. Right, Juls?”
She nods in my direction before turning back toward my heated assistant. “Right. So, calm the f*ck down, JoJo.” She makes a face at him and he issues her his smile, softening her expression. “And a lot of d*ck? Like you’re one to talk.”
The three of us start laughing, letting go of the stress of knowing Brooke Wicks will soon be gracing us with her presence. This could actually be a good thing. We are extremely busy, and having another employee means being able to spend more time in my kitchen instead of ringing up customers. So, I’m not going to let this worry me; I have enough stress with my upcoming wedding to last me a lifetime.
Juls gives us both hugs before she exits the shop to go tackle a bride. Just as a customer slips inside and makes her way up to the counter, my phone beeps in my pocket. Joey gives me a smile, indicating he’s got things handled and allows me to slip into the back.
Reese: What are you wearing?
I giggle as I hop onto a stool.
Me: Are you spanking it right now, handsome?
Reese: That depends on your answer.
I’m definitely not wearing anything worthy of a wank session. My ripped skinny jeans and flour-covered apron have seen better days, so I let my imagination take over.
Me: A skin-tight, pale-pink dress that stops just below my panty line. Or, it would, if I was wearing panties.
Reese: You are such a tease. Do you have any idea how hard my d*ck is for you right now? I could probably f*ck you through a wall.
Me: It’s a shame you’ll have to handle that situation on your own. I’m locked in consultations the rest of the day. Otherwise, I’d give you a hand. Or a mouth.
Reese: You can handle my situation as soon as you get home. I want that p*ssy wet and ready for me.
I smile, loving that dominant edge in every word he types.
Me: Always is.
No imagination needed there.


Author Bio

J. Daniels was born and raised in Maryland.

After putting her kids to bed, she escapes into her cheeky world where some of her characters kiss, and some of them do a lot more than kiss.

She is an avid reader and enjoys everything from unconventional romance to fantasy novels.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

#BookReview THE HARDER WE FALL by Mina V. Esguerra #contemporary #romance

The Harder We FallThe Harder We Fall by Mina V. Esguerra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This campy story centers around a media-arts contest and the trials of an alumni rugby player. The story is told as a vignette, a slice of life, during the last two weeks of Daria Kramer's college career where she submits her final video project to compete for an internship.

Her instructor made sure to pick topics outside of the students' comfort zones and Daria got the Addison Hill Rugby team. She meets a few of the players, finds out about how underfunded the team is, and then comes to an understanding about how this sport helps the players assert themselves in their lives.

A particular player, Nicholas, becomes closer to her, and in the process of filming, they begin a sexual relationship. It is a standoffish kind of relationship in that communication is done through the interview and even though issues of great personal importance are made known, neither party seems to pursue these weighty issues or make an attempt to really break through.

This isn't what I'm used to from Ms. Esguerra's characters who are usually very caring, even to the point of nosiness and surrounded by busybody best friends. The story felt... lonely.

I received an ARC for this review.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

#BookReview SISTERS IN WHITE by Melissa Foster 5 Stars #romance #family

Sisters in White (Love in Bloom #3; Snow Sisters #3)Sisters in White by Melissa Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favorite sisters book yet. We have Danica, the analytical therapist, and Kaylie, the wild free-spirit, and guess what? Their father messed around and they have another sister, Lacy, who they will meet for the very first time at their wedding get together.

Lacy is the love child who split Danica and Kaylie's parents apart. Danica wants to make amends, but Kaylie's spitting mad. Meanwhile we have drama with the parents, Helen, Dad, and Madeline. Seems the triangle has not cooled and both Danica and Lacy are spying on their respective parents and the other woman!

I loved this book. Not only was the family drama heart warming and fun, but Danica's a hoot as she tries to keep everything together. She's stressing out on everything and running herself ragged. Meanwhile, Mother Nature does not cooperate and throws them into the middle of a storm.

Will their dream wedding turn into a nightmare? Or will there be a silver lining in the clouds?

View all my reviews

Friday, October 17, 2014

#NewRelease LESS THAN NOTHING by R.E. Blake #romance #comingofage

AUTHOR BIO: R.E. Blake is the pseudonym of the USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels, featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

New Adult? Young Adult? Contemporary Romance? Coming-of-age?
When I sat down to write the trilogy that turned out to be the Less Than Nothing novels, I had no idea what genre they were going to be. I sort of thought maybe NA, because they’d have some heat to them, there’s a central romantic theme to the story, and they deal with subjects that are more serious than the YA books I’ve read. What ensued has me scratching my head, though, and now I’m not so sure.

The books cover the trials and tribulations of Sage and Derek, two homeless teen street musicians in San Francisco who make a life-altering decision to hitch cross-country and enter a talent contest in New York.

Seems straightforward enough. That’s a road book. Like Huckleberry Finn, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or any number of other road tomes, only with a teen romance as the central driver. Only that’s not how it turned out. The characters took over, and apparently their story wasn’t a road story at all, but rather a love story combined with a coming-of-age saga.

There aren’t a lot of books that feature homeless main characters, much less homeless teens grappling with the demons of their pasts. These are characters with flaws, with depth, with problems and hopes and needs. Who aren’t adults yet, but also aren’t kids – caught in that neverland between responsibility and adolescence, but dealing with the harsh reality of survival on the streets.

Less Than Nothing is a tip of the hat to the Janis Joplin rendition of Me & Bobby McGee. It came on the radio while I was driving, and as I listened to Janis belt it out, I thought, “wow, wouldn’t that be an awesome story – road trip, two young spirits in love, making mistakes, fighting to succeed…” And that’s how the book idea was born.

But how to classify it? It deals with more complex and nuanced subject matter than the usual YA outing, so it’s not really Young Adult. And it’s got some steamy scenes, so it’s spicier than that genre. Which means it’s probably New Adult, but then we have the problem that the protagonists are both teenagers…in what becomes an adventure/romance. And there are no shirtless biker alpha billionaires, so not typical NA fare. So is it contemporary romance? Not really. Is it NA? Not really. Is it YA? Not really.

Whatever it is, it’s getting rave reviews, so maybe the genre isn’t as important as the story. A young girl developing into a self-directed being, on the threshold of adulthood but still possessing adolescent impulses and doubts, which aren’t always logical and can be in conflict with each other while co-existing simultaneously.

Whatever the genre, I’m thrilled at how it turned out. I think it’s a truly original take on the familiar story of boy meets girl. Because it’s about that. And not that. It’s about love, and dreams, and desperation, and possibility, and the hope for redemption, the fear of loss, of betrayal, of being let down and hurt by those who are supposed to protect you, and about overcoming your past to build a brighter future.

Anyhow, if you like stories that are off the beaten path, are quirky, and deal with teens growing into their own skin and discovering what they’re made of, this might be a good choice. If you enjoy love stories in a big, sweeping, complicated sense, with imperfect characters who sometimes behave in frustrating ways – just like real people do – then give this a try.

And if you figure out what the books are, let me know. Because when asked, I’m still uncertain what to say, other than, “You’ve kinda just got to read them to understand.”

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Sage’s life as a teenage runaway in San Francisco is simple: Snatch a few hours of sleep on park benches and bus stops; dodge perverts, predators, and cops; and make enough as a street musician to eat. But her world flips upside down when she meets Derek – hot, tattooed, and charming, a singer from Seattle whose looks and talent take her breath away. 
What begins as a reluctant partnership quickly develops into a cross-country race against time - and awakens a hunger in Sage that’s unfamiliar and exciting.

As they travel from coast to coast, Sage and Derek pursue their dream, only to discover that they can never run far enough to escape the demons from their pasts.

Less Than Nothing is the breakout debut NA novel from USA Today bestseller R.E. Blake that critics are buzzing about and readers can’t put down.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#BookChat featuring The Collective Series by Stacey Nash #YA

Title: Forget Me Not
Series: Collective #1
Author: Stacey Nash
Genre: Young Adult
 Release Date: August 1, 2014


Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They're not just jewellery, they're part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One.

She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

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Book Trailer

Title: Remember Me
Series: Collective #2
Author: Stacey Nash
Genre: Young Adult
 Release Date: October 1, 2014


An exciting new adventure from Stacey Nash, set in the world of The Collective.

When all is lost, she must remember...

Anamae Gilbert managed to thwart The Collective and rescue her father, even though his mind is now a shell. Determined to stop Councilor Manvyke hurting her family again, she's training to become an active resistance member and falling hard for resistance fighter Jax Belfry. But things never sail along smoothly - Manvyke wants retribution and Anamae's name is high on his list.

After a blow to the head, she awakes in an unfamiliar location unable to remember the last few weeks. She can't believe the fascinating new technology she's seeing. She's the new kid at school, and although weapons training comes with ease, something feels off. Why does the other new kid's smile make her heart ache?

And why does her gut tell her to run?

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Book Trailer

Author Bio

Stacey Nash writes adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. She loves to read and write books that have a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area. 

Author of the Collective Series; Forget Me Not and Remember Me.

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