Friday, April 18, 2014

Stealth Release: WHOLE LATTE LOVE by Rachelle Ayala #newadult #romance

Whole Latte Love by Rachelle Ayala

It's here!

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and more to come.

http://rachelleayala.me/books/whole-latte-love/

Excerpt:
Carina Chen had no time for nonsense.
“Show off.” She couldn’t help glaring at the shaggy-haired barista as he demonstrated the art of milk frothing to a gaggle of college girls.
Hair flipping and eyelashes fluttering, they oohed and ahhed nonstop while he spun milk underneath the steam nozzle. When he layered the milk over a cup of espresso, they squealed as if they were in the middle of a group orgasm.
Carina elbowed her way through the crowded coffee shop and ordered her cup from the female barista, whose line was much shorter. Serving lattes didn’t require sleek muscles and gem-blue eyes.
“Yummy.” Her friend Sheila checked her watch. “I come just to watch the show. Wonder which one he’ll take home tonight.”
“Only one?” Carina set her cup on the table. “Enough about him. I still haven’t found a room for the summer. Didn’t you say you had a friend needing a renter?”
Sheila stole her gaze from the demonstration of coffee-making prowess and licked her lips. “Yeah, let’s wait for his break, and I’ll introduce you.”
Carina looked toward the espresso machine. “Him? Never mind. I’m not sure I could stomach the guy. He’s got to be full of himself.”
Sheila’s eyes wandered back to the front counter and lingered. “You have to admit, he’s hotter than the Sahara.”
“That’s exactly my point.” Carina watched him hand a steaming mug to a perky cheerleader. His mischievous smile did funny things to her insides and it wasn’t even directed at her. “I need a quiet place to crash after my eighteen-hour days, not some bachelor pad with nightly orgies. I can imagine the revolving door on his bedroom. No thanks.”
Despite her hasty denial, warm flutters bubbled in her belly when the barista stepped out from behind the counter. He was broad-shouldered, but not bulky, and he moved with the easy grace of a mountain lion as he collected the empties. Heck, the man probably boosted Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock price two full points each time he bent over to wipe a table.
“You could at least meet the guy before you pass judgment.” Sheila folded her arms. “Look, the important thing is, he has a great apartment close to the Berkeley BART station.”
Easy access to rapid transit was a point in his favor, but … “You sure he’s safe?”
“I promise. Dylan’s a boy scout. Besides,” Sheila said with a sly smile, “an orgy or two might do you some good.”
While Carina struggled to close her gaping mouth, Sheila raised a hand to wave him over.
Dylan wiped his palms on his apron and pulled a stool from the next table.
“Hey, what’s up?” He greeted Sheila with a nod and trained his eyes on Carina.
Up close, he was even more swoonworthy. Wavy brown hair hung almost to his neck, and his jaw was stubbly, as if he’d forgotten to shave a day or two. His presence filled all available breathing space between them, and his piercing gaze felt like a tractor beam drawing Carina toward him.
“Dyl, this is Carina Chen. She needs a room to rent,” Sheila said. “She’s working at Mogul this summer.”
“Nice to meet you,” Dylan said. “Investment banking?”
“Intern analyst.” Carina tamped down the pride swelling in her chest as well as a more worrying heat in her lower regions. “I got the offer two days ago, last minute.”
“Cool!” He gave her a thumbs up, and the thick silver cuff on his wrist glinted in the late afternoon sunlight coming through the window. “My roommate moved out two days ago. Must be fate.”
It had to be the sun’s heat that was making her sweat under her suit jacket. Nope, it was definitely not Dylan’s sideways grin nor the way his veins moved over his large hands when he flexed his fingers.
“How much?” Carina’s voice barely squeaked past her tight vocal cords.
“Your share of the rent’s twelve-hundred a month. We split the utilities. You get your own bedroom but we’ll share a bathroom.”
Sharing a bathroom with a guy might get tricky. Where would she hide her feminine products?
“You’ll love it.” Sheila cut in. “It’s close to shopping, restaurants, and the campus.”
“That’s so much more than I paid in Philadelphia,” Carina said. “I don’t know Berkeley very well. Is that what rentals go for around here?”
“It’s much less than San Francisco, especially the Financial District.” Sheila hopped off her barstool. “I gotta hit the loo. Text me when you’re ready to leave.”
“Wait, I’m not sure.” Carina faltered. Why was she acting like this was a blind date? It wasn’t like she hadn’t lived in a coed dorm before. Besides, a guy satisfied to work in a coffee shop was not her type, so there should be no worries whatsoever about wanting him for a boyfriend.
Dylan placed his smartphone on the table. “I have to get back to the job. Call yourself from my cell so I’ll have your number.”
Zing. His killer grin hit the mark, right between her thighs. The guy knew what he was doing. Oh no, she wasn’t giving her number to that kind of man. She’d ask Sheila if she knew of any women needing roommates. She still had one more day to hit the streets and go over listings, and she most definitely was not going to be another phone number on his to-call list.
“I still have a few other places to check out.” Carina picked up her coffee cup. “Do you think I could get a takeout cup for this?”
Dylan grasped the handle, his fingers lingering a beat too long against hers. “Even better. I’ll make you a new one. This one’s cold.”
Carina’s cheeks warmed as a tingly shiver worked its way up her arm. Geez, she wasn’t usually this hormonal.
“Wait, your phone …” Carina picked up Dylan’s phone and walked toward the counter where he prepared the coffee. A poster plastered on the wall showed him strutting with his guitar onstage with a band called The Licked Blues. They had a gig at a club later this evening. Typical. Another guy wasting his life away with no prospect of financial success.
“Almost done.” Dylan layered the espresso on the bottom of the cup and dipped the milk pitcher up, then lowered it and cut across.
Carina gasped as a creamy heart floated to the top.
He handed her the takeout cup and rested one elbow on the counter. “Carina, if you room with me, I’ll have one of these for you every morning.”
His voice caressed her name like the languid beckon of a lover calling her back to bed.
Carina swallowed hard, but before she could respond, Dylan swung toward an elderly woman positioning her walker to get out of a booth. The college girls waved and vied for his attention, but he took his time helping the woman to the door before going back for their orders.
I’m a goner now.

Carina typed her number into Dylan’s phone.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#BookReview FINDING X by Miles Tan #romance #humor #chick-lit #filipina

Finding XFinding X by Miles Tan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was ultrasweet, giving you all the delicious tingly sugared halo-halo feelings the entire ride. Matteo is deadly cute with light blue hair and Carlisle is too smart and too skittish for her own happiness. I love the geology jokes, nerd humor, the outrageously awesome notebook Matteo kept about his experiment on getting Carlisle to fall in love with him. The Evil Ex got his comeuppance too, and through the entire story, we see how capable Carlisle is, even while she doubted herself. I also love that she is a female programmer, although a front-end developer, she still provided the leadership to make sure the nightly builds were on track, while her douchebag boss (and Ex) took all the credit.

Awesomely fun book. I can't wait to see what Ms. Tan comes up with next.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

#BookReview REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier #romance #suspense

RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best, most engaging dramas. The slow meandering suspense in Rebecca never lets up. As soon as the young 2nd Mrs. De Winter meets Max, the widower who is not "quite" right, I knew there would be more behind the scenes.

Maybe I'm the suspicious type, but I never did believe in story of Max's first wife's demise. However Ms. du Maurier doesn't give anything away. The reader discovers everything from the perspective of the 2nd Mrs. de winter, an unnamed young lady who is socially awkward and insecure about her position. She's frightened of the household staff, especially the eerie Mrs. Danvers who was obsessively attached to the departed Rebecca.

The heroine is unnamed precisely so that the reader can put herself there, curious about Rebecca, haunted by her memory, fearful that her husband does not love her, intimidated by every spooky nook and cranny of the house called Manderley. The worst part about this story, and the sheer genius of Ms. du Maurier's writing is to get the reader to take the side of the anti-hero and heroine. Yes, we know it's wrong, but we still go along hoping and fearful that justice would prevail. Quite the opposite of most detective stories, where no matter how heinous the victim was, justice and truth would come out at the end. Here we hope for precisely what Ms. du Maurier has hypnotized us to wish for. And at the end, we also, will dream of Manderley and see ourselves traveling on that path from the gate through the windy, overgrown path, and behold, the red rhododendron choked walls, a foreshadowing of the deep, raw, and ugly emotions that lay hidden beneath the genteel surface of the fine English country manor.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

#NewRelease JUSTICE FOR ABBY by Cate Beauman #romanticsuspense


Cate Beauman is back with the sixth installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County.  Justice For Abby will be available for  sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes starting April 10th!

Cate is hosting a pre-order party on her website complete with giveaways.  Winners will be selected on April 10 so be sure to stop by www.catebeauman.com before then for your chance to win!

Nowhere to hide

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police.  The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn.  Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn.  Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.



Read an excerpt from Justice For Abby:

The black bag was ripped from her head, along with several strands of her hair. Abby blinked against the bold light of the naked bulbs hanging from the low ceiling. She glanced around the dingy space in shock as her gaze traveled from girl to girl—six young teens, dirty, bruised, and malnourished, staring up at her through bland eyes while they sat or lay on filthy mattresses on the dirt floor. “What—”

“In.” Victor shoved Abby into a small, windowless room, slamming the door, locking her in with a rusty scrape of something sliding against the heavy metal barrier.

She walked on shaky legs to the wooden chair in the corner and collapsed to the uncomfortable seat, clutching her arms around her waist, shivering as she bit hard on her bottom lip while tears rained down her cheeks. Where was she? What was this place? She shuddered, remembering six sets of listless eyes holding hers. Nothing good was happening here.

She covered her face with trembling hands and gave into her sobs, relieving the worst of her dread, wishing for nothing more than to be home with Lex and Livy. Thinking of her sister and niece, she forced away her tears, taking several deep breaths of stale air. If she wanted to see her family again she needed to pull herself together. She couldn’t get herself out of this—whatever this was—if she didn’t think. There had to be a way out. Her eyes darted around the barely lit space, searching for a weapon, another exit, anything.

The door opened, and she rushed to her feet as a tall, well-built man stood haloed in the beam of light from the room beyond. Abby blinked as he stepped forward. “Renzo?” She bolted from the corner and fell against her friend’s firm chest as a wave or relief flooded her. “Oh, thank god.”
His strong arms wrapped around her.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know what’s going on. I need help. Can you help me?”

“What happened?” He eased her back some, but she refused to release him from her grip.

“My family—we were on our way home from Virginia Beach. We stopped at a rest area, and two men grabbed me and brought me here.”

“You were with your sister and niece?”

“Yes, Alexa and Olivia. I think they’re okay, but I need to call and make sure. Will you get me out of here?”

“Of course.”

She could hardly believe she was leaving. “Thank you. Thank you.” She hugged Renzo again as tears of gratitude flowed free. “I knew this had to be some sort of mistake.”

“Come on, let’s get you home.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and walked with her to the door. “Oh, wait.” He stopped.

“What?”

“I can’t let you go.”


Did you enjoy the excerpt?  You can read the first chapter on my website, www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book here!


The Inspiration Behind Justice For Abby

Justice For Abby is one of my favorite stories in The Bodyguards of L.A. County series (Okay, they all are, but I really love Abby and Jerrod!). I truly enjoyed writing their adventure. Oftentimes I found myself caught up in Abby’s rollercoaster ride as she heals from her experiences as a survivor of the Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring. At times I cried with her, and at others, I laughed. She’s so strong and sweet, but she’s vulnerable and struggling. Enter Jerrod Quinn, the perfect man to provide her protection and help her overcome her ordeal in his own quiet way.

Although Abby’s story is one of fiction, sex trafficking is a very real crisis for millions of young women, men, and children all over the globe. My idea for this novel came after a night in front of the television watching crime television. A segment showcasing the mysterious disappearance of a young woman named Amy Bradley bothered me greatly. She vanished from a cruise ship in March of 1998 while vacationing with her family. Unfortunately, Amy has yet to be found, but she is believed to be alive, stuck in the horrific world of human sex trafficking. I immediately began my research into this very troubling epidemic and shortly after wrote Forever Alexa, the story of Abby’s sister dealing with the aftermath of Abby’s disappearance. My readers have requested Abby’s story, and I felt the need to share her experience.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Abby and Jerrod as much as I enjoyed writing these two fantastic characters.

~Cate


The Unofficial Justice For Abby Soundtrack

Music always plays a huge part in my writing process.  With two boys and two dogs in the house, music helps me “get lost” in my story.  I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube and put together a playlist of songs that I feel represent the characters or the situations they face as the novel unfolds.  Here are a few of the songs that I had on “repeat” while I created Jerrod and Abby’s story!  You can listen to them on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Justice For Abby:
·         Applause by Lady Gaga
·         Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
·         She Is by Ben Rector
·         I Should Go by Levi Kreis
·         The Other Side by Jason Derulo
·         Why Don’t You Love Me? by Hot Chelle Rae ft. Demi Lovato
·         We Owned The Night by Lady Antebellum
·         Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw
·         Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol
·         Come Back by Pearl Jam
·         By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
·         Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran



About the author:

Cate currently lives in Tennessee with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County.  Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for 12 years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, three years later, I’m working on my seventh novel, Saving Sophie, and I’m an Amazon best selling author.  I’m very grateful for the support and success I have had.  - Cate “


Contact Cate

Amazon Author Page

Social links:


The Bodyguards of L.A. County


Thursday, April 10, 2014

#BookReview ALL'S FAIR IN BLOG AND WAR by Chrissie Peria #chick-lit #filipina

All's Fair in Blog and WarAll's Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been enjoying light-hearted Filipina romances and this is one of the cutest. Five Cuevas and competing blogger Jesse Ruiz have been invited by the Macau tourism board on a complimentary trip to Macau for publicity purposes. Five takes an instant dislike to the arrogant, stuffy Jesse who exudes superiority with his every gesture. He's the one with the hot shot camera, the expert in advertising, the know-it-all. But things change when Cuevas has a late night fright and ends up in Jesse's room. Not only were they assigned to be travel buddies together, but they enjoy being side-tracked to the less well-traveled areas on Cueva's sister's list, and a super kilig midnight photo shoot in front of an abandoned church.

I've never been to Macau, but after reading this book, I have a hankering to go, especially if I get to be travel buddies with a handsome, sexy blog buddy. The descriptions are awesome, the food is to be inhaled, and the fun adventures make you feel like you're right there with them. It turns out to be a really sweet story and a happy read.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

#BookReview BACK IN BLACK by Lori Foster #MMA #romanticsuspense

Back in Black (SBC Fighters, #5)Back in Black by Lori Foster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a hot romantic suspense with not one, but two couples. There's Gillian and Drew, who are forced to work together when Gillian is hired to reform Drew's public image. Apparently he is too rough on the press and uses too many curse words. Then there is Audrey and Brett, who are on opposing sides to the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) scene.

Audrey runs an organization that is against violent sports, and Brett, of course is the fighter with the heart of gold.

The storylines intersect around the villain, Millie, who works for Audrey as a reporter for the organization. She has had a run in with Drew Black and is out to get him.

Both couples are immediately attracted to each other. Where Gilliam and Drew's interaction is confrontational and sizzling, Brett and Audrey are sweet and endearing. There is a lack of romantic tension to both couples. They like each other and are willing to see the good in each other.

The tension comes from the villain and the acts of violence, bomb threat, hit and run, fire bomb, and shooting, all aimed at a vendetta against Drew. There really weren't any other suspects than the obvious one, so while the story was interesting, it was predictable and not suspenseful enough. Brett easily forgave Audrey, and Gillian easily went along with whatever schemes Drew proposed. The entire plot felt choreographed, where you knew that the only reason they went outside all together was to allow the villain the chance to get in a potshot.

The love scenes were really good, and it was interesting how the two couples contrasted each other.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

#NewRelease LEAP OF FAITH by Michele Shriver #romance #womensfiction

Author Michele Shriver presents a story of healing and second chances.
Leap of Faith
Leap of Faith Single mother Tracey Hiatt prides herself on having a close relationship with her daughter- the kind of relationship she’s always wanted, but never had, with her own mother.

When her mother suffers a debilitating illness and faces a lengthy recovery, family takes on a whole new meaning for Tracey as she finds herself pulled back to her ex, Steve Eldridge. There’s only one problem: he’s involved with someone else.

Steve is drawn back into Tracey’s family drama and after her mother awakens from a coma believing he and Tracey are married, the two are forced to confront some fundamental questions about their relationship. Can they put past hurts behind them and take a leap of faith into a new future together?

 Available now:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/leap-of-faith-michele-shriver/1118970901?ean=2940149455492