Thursday, November 12, 2015

Love & Vengenace

My friend Gina Danna has just released a new book!!

If you love steamy gladiator romances, this is a must have!

Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?

Want to get your copy! 

Amazon paperback:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Bella Andre's Love Me


I'm happy to be doing another audiobook review this week and a contest! Keep reading for details.

Last week's winner is Pompie1999. Please email me at to collect you prize of an audiobook from me.

Now last week I had fun talking about Laura Kaye's book Hearts in Darkness.

Today I'm talking about Bella Andre's Love Me.

 Narrated by Eva Kaminsky.

What's it about?

In the long awaited sequel to Take Me by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre, if there's one thing that Janica Ellis is absolutely certain of, it's that she and Luke Carson are totally wrong for each other. She's a wild, artistic, and outspoken fashion designer. He's a type-A, workaholic trauma surgeon. But Janica is about to be proven wrong when opposites the sexiest possible way.
After a life-changing night in the ER, Luke is desperate for escape and relief from his personal demons. For five years he has fought his attraction to Janica, but when he's pushed too far, he can't fight it another second. He needs her. Desperately. He's spent his whole life doing the right thing. For one night, he's going to follow desire instead, straight into Janica's arms.
Janica can't believe Luke is finally at her front door...and that he's kissing her as though he's been waiting his whole life to touch her. But even as their sensual connection deepens with every touch of skin on skin and the man she always thought was such a good boy turns out to be sinfully, toe-curlingly bad between the sheets Janica soon realizes she wants more than Luke's body. She wants his heart too. But what will Luke do when one night of extreme passion turns into an all-or-nothing proposition?

My ThoughtsLove Me is a sequel to Bella Andre's fantastic book Take Me.  Take Me and Love Me involve a set of two sisters an a set of twin brothers.  The first book Take Me is about the eldest sister, the plump and heartwarming Lily who falls for the  "bad boy" of the twin brothers named Travis.

Love Me takes place five years after the happily ever after takes place in Take Me. Now Lily and Travis are married with two darling children. And Travis's straight-laced brother named Luke is falling for the tiny, fiery little sister of Lily named Danica.

What did I love about this book? Well for starters we get two great contrasted couples. Danica and Lily are nothing alike, just as Luke and Travis are nothing alike. Danica is a force of nature (as a fashion designer) and she sweeps Luke away from the start. All four characters have a strong backstory where they knew each other as young children and grew up together. All of them suffered a great tragedy of losing parents and it all affected them differently. I love how Bella Andre evokes such wonderful, deep emotions regarding these losses and how each of the heroes and heroines in both books move forward.

So, back to the story and what I loved. Luke is suffering in his job as an ER doctor and the stress gets too much for him. When he has to go on leave from the hospital, he goes straight to Janica and they end up sleeping together that night. One of the things that shocked me (but not in a bad way), was that Janica flat out tells Luke she loves him that night. Normally in a romance, the love declarations come towards the end. I actually liked this twist, the upfront declaration and Luke struggling to accept that he has loved her back for years. The emotional battle between Luke and Janica is heartfelt, realistic and sexy. BOY HOWDY is it sexy!!!! Sometimes books feel too forced, but not this one. Andre hits another home run for me!

The book isn't that long, only a little under five hours, but the narrator Eva does a lovely job of bringing the love story together.

Want to get a copy?  Check out Love Me right here:

This week I'm offering one lucky random commenter on this post their choice of one of my books autographed. All you have to do is answer this question:

What's your favorite recent audiobook listen or if you aren't an audio listener, what is your favorite recent book you've read that you would like try out as an audiobook and why?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Hey Guys!!

I'm starting a new trend this week. It's called Lauren Listens. Here I'm going to be talking about my thoughts on a current audiobook I've been listening to this week. I'll be hosting little contests hopefully on each post so check the bottom to find out how to enter this week's CONTEST!

A lot of you guys are curious as to what I read and what I recommend, and since I send most of my days during the week driving, audiobooks are the way I'm getting my reading done.

Now the good news is that say you're not an audiophile like me, these books will all be available either in print or ebook so if something sounds good, don't let the audio aspect scare you off from trying a new author.

Let me preface this new series with my thoughts on audiobooks in general. I am not an auditory learner. I'm straight up visual. So how did I get into listening rather than reading when it comes to books? It was really by necessity more than anything. I travel upwards of 35 hours in the car every week and at night when I get home from lawyer, I'm looking for those few precious hours before bed to work on my novels. So I thought I'd give audiobooks a try.

I went in expecting to fall asleep, or get distracted by them, and not remember anything that happens. But it was just opposite!! Color me surprised when I realized that by learning to listen to audiobooks, I actually got much better at listening in general. This was great because as an attorney during the day, I have to argue in court and hearing and remembering what the judge and opposing counsel says is REALLY important. So diving in to the world of audiobooks was actually fantastic for both my jobs!

Another cool thing about audiobooks? In some ways you don't have to work as hard at reading. You know those nights when you're exhausted and you can't stare at a page? Well I figured out I could just put my cell phone with the Audible app playing by my pillow and just listen. Also, if you have chores or cleaning around the house like I do, it seems to make them go so much faster when you've got a good book on tap!

Now, on to my review of my first book in the Lauren Listens series.

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella

First off, I love this cover!!! How stunning is that? Sexy, edgy, gritty. YUM! If you've never read a Laura Kaye book I REALLY recommend her stuff. What I like is that her books are off the charts sexy, but still feel really realistic and emotional too. That's the way I like romance. A book has to answer two questions: 1) Does it get me hot under the collar and 2) Do I feel like it seems like this could happen somewhere in the world? Now let me clarify, I don't mean when I'm reading a book that it has to be 100% possible. That's not what I mean. I'm not a reader who will criticize a writer and say "a nerd girl and a hot billionaire stranded on an island? Not possible- therefore bad book." That's not at all what I mean. What I'm saying is, if I read the book and the author does such a good job of developing the characters and the situation and the emotions and conflicts that it feels truly real to me? Then we have a jackpot.

So on to Hearts in Darkness...

Two strangers...
Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Four hours...
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator...
To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

My thoughts:
I really liked the narrator. Erin Jones did a fantastic job bringing both sides of the story, Caden and Makenna to life. :)
As for the story it self. It was superb! I loved the concept of the story, two strangers stuck on an elevator in the darkness? All the girl gets is a glimpse of a tattoo before the doors shut? Sexy, exciting, and a little scary! But the best part was when you start to listen, you don't get scared. The hero Caden is so likeable, yet he has that brooding, tragic back story without being cliché, that just melts your heart. I wanted to hug him and sleep with him. He was that good. And Makenna provides a great foil of a female character against Caden. She's just as strong but brings different emotional issues to the table. As they bonded in the elevator I found myself hoping they wouldn't have to get least for a bit longer.

My conclusion: It was in turns sweet, sexy, seductive, exciting, and just a perfect way to get introduced into Laura Kaye's writing world. I'll be listening to more of hers for sure!

Want a copy of Laura Kaye's Hearts in Darkness audio? Here's the link to where you can get your own!

**Contest** 1 Randomly selected commenter will win their choice of an audiobook from my current selection of available audiobooks. To enter, please answer below and be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win!! Winner will be announced next Friday publically on the next Lauren Listens post but will be contacted privately as well!

What do you think about Audiobooks? If you've never tried one, would you give it a shot? For those of you who are avid listeners what's your most recent book you've enjoyed listening to?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Gentle Knight- A new release by Author Ashley York!

Hi guys!

I'm so excited to be sharing with you info on Ashley York's newest release! check it out!

BLURB: A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won't be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?
Padraig MacNaughton's death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she's ever wanted?
Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?

Buy links for The Gentle Knight:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble
"Do you have rooms for us?" Peter's irritation intertwined with his unquenched desire.
"Yes, my lord." The man bowed slightly then smiled. "We have enough room in our outbuildings to accommodate a small army."
He didn't have or need an army at the moment. What he needed was a willing woman.
Peter took another swallow of the warming liquid. He stood. The smoothness of his drink made a pleasant sweep through his body, down into his loins, and up into his head.
Brighit remained unmoving. Her head beside him, blurred slightly. He had the sudden urge to feel the softness of the brown hair that lay hidden beneath the stark white wimple. Run his hands through it. Slide his finger along her unyielding profile and tip her chin up ever so gently so he could meet her mouth for a warm, wet kiss—
Mort coughed loudly from across the table. "You were saying, my lord?"
Mort's face appeared quite expectant but Peter wasn't sure what he had been sa—oh yes.
"Well, a warm bed or two would certainly suffice."
The arousing picture of being in a warm bed with the even warmer body of Brighit beneath him flashed through his mind. Her lovely brown hair splayed across the pillows.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: A Celebration of Waterloo

Today I'm here with Susana Ellis to celebrate her new release and a giveaway! Check out the details below!

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles:
A Celebration of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington's Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men's lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

The bicentenary of the famous battle seemed like an excellent opportunity to use that setting for a story, and before I knew it, I had eight other authors eager to join me, and to make a long story short, on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology was released to the world.

You are all invited to

·       our Book Release Facebook Party on April 1st 
·       our Website and Facebook Page
·       our Rafflecopter (ends April 18th)

One randomly-chosen commenter will receive a Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles mug.

Our Stories

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge
Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant
The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady
Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel
Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue
On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who— dangerously to Aimée— wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss
The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying
Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All
Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

About Lost and Found Lady
On April 24, 1794, a girl child was born to an unknown Frenchwoman in a convent in Salamanca, Spain. Alas, her mother died in childbirth, and the little girl—Catalina—was given to a childless couple to raise.

Eighteen years later…the Peninsular War between the British and the French wages on, now perilously near Catalina’s home. After an afternoon yearning for adventure in her life, Catalina comes across a wounded British soldier in need of rescue. Voilà! An adventure! The sparks between them ignite, and before he returns to his post, Rupert promises to return for her.

But will he? Catalina’s grandmother warns her that some men make promises easily, but fail to carry them out. Catalina doesn’t believe Rupert is that sort, but what does she know? All she can do is wait…and pray.

But Fate has a few surprises in store for both Catalina and Rupert. When they meet again, it will be in another place where another battle is brewing, and their circumstances have been considerably altered. Will their love stand the test of time? And how will their lives be affected by the outcome of the conflict between the Iron Duke and the Emperor of the French?

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Kobo


September 14, 1793
A beach near Dieppe, France

“I don’t like the look of those clouds, monsieur,” Tobias McIntosh said in fluent French to the gray-bearded old man in a sailor hat waiting impatiently near the rowboat that was beginning to bob more sharply with each swell of the waves. “Are you sure your vessel can make it safely all the way to Newhaven in these choppy seas?”

The old man waved a hand over the horizon. “La tempête, it is not a threat, if we leave immédiatement. Plus tard…” He shrugged. “Je ne sais pas.”

“Please, mon amour,” pleaded the small woman wrapped in a hooded gray cloak standing at his side. “Allow me to stay with you. I don’t want to go to England. I promise I will be prudent.”

A strong gust of wind caught her hood and forced it down, revealing her mop of shiny dark locks. Tobias felt like seizing her hand and pulling her away from the ominous waves to a place of safety where she and their unborn child could stay until the senseless Terreur was over.

“Justine, ma chère, we have discussed this endlessly. There is no place in France safe enough for you if your identity as the daughter of the Comte d’Audet is discovered.” He shivered. “I could not bear it if you were to suffer the same fate at the hands of the revolutionaries as your parents did when I failed to save them.”

She threw her arms around him, the top of her head barely reaching his chin. “Non, mon amour, it was not your fault. You could not have saved them. It was miraculeux that you saved me. I should have died with them.”

She looked up to catch his gaze, her face ashen. “Instead, we met and have had three merveilleux months together. If it is my time to die, I wish to die at your side.”

Tobias felt like his heart was going to break. His very soul demanded that the two of them remain together and yet… there was a price on both their heads, and the family of the Vicomte Lefebre was waiting for him in Amiens, the revolutionaries expected to reach them before midday. It was a dangerous work he was involved in—rescuing imperiled French nobility from bloodthirsty, vengeful mobs—but he had pledged himself to the cause and honor demanded that he carry on. And besides, there was now someone else to consider.

“The child,” he said with more firmness than he felt. “We have our child to consider, now, Justine ma chère. The next Earl of Dumfries. He must live to grow up and make his way in the world.”

Not to mention the fact that Tobias was human enough to wish to leave a child to mark his legacy in the world—his and Justine’s. He felt a heaviness in his heart that he might not live long enough to know this child he and Justine had created together. He could not allow his personal wishes to undermine his conviction. Justine and the child must survive.

Justine’s blue eyes filled with tears. “But I cannot! I will die without you, mon cher mari. You cannot ask it of me!”

“Justine,” he said, pushing away from her to clasp her shoulders and look her directly in the eye. “You are a brave woman, the strongest I have ever known. You have survived many hardships and you can survive this. Take this letter to my brother in London, and he will see to your safety until the time comes that I can join you. My comrades in Newhaven will see that you are properly escorted.”

He handed over a letter and a bag of coins. “This should be enough to get you to London.”

After she had reluctantly accepted and pocketed the items beneath her cloak, he squeezed her hands.

“Be sure to eat well, ma chère. You are so thin and my son must be born healthy.”

She gave him a feigned smile. “Our daughter is the one responsible for my sickness in the mornings… I do not believe she wishes me to even look at food.”

She looked apprehensively at the increasingly angry waves as they tossed the small boat moored rather loosely to a rock on the shore and her hands impulsively went to her stomach.

“Make haste, monsieur,” the old sailor called as he peered anxiously at the darkening clouds. “We must depart now if we are to escape the storm. Bid your chère-amie adieu maintenant or wait for another day. I must return to the bateau.”

“Tobias,” she said, her voice shaking.

He wondered if he would ever again hear her say his name with that adorable French inflection that had drawn him from their first meeting.

“Go, Justine. Go to my family and keep our child safe. I promise I will join you soon.”

He scooped her up in his arms and carried her toward the dinghy, trying to ignore her tears. The old sailor held the boat as still as he could while Tobias placed her on the seat and kissed her hard before striding back to the shore, each footstep heavier than the last.

He studied the darkening sky as the sailor climbed in the boat. “You are sure it is safe?”

“La Chasseresse, she is très robuste. A few waves will not topple her, monsieur.”

“Je t’aime, mon amour,” she said to him plaintively, her chin trembling.

“Au revoir, ma chère,” he said, trying to smile, although his vision was blurring from tears.

Will I ever see her again?

He stood watching as the dinghy made its way slowly through the choppy sea to the larger ship anchored in the distance, grief-stricken and unable to concentrate on anything but his pain. When the ship finally sailed off into the horizon, he fell to his knees and prayed as he had never done before for the safety of his beloved. He remained in that position until drops of rain on his face reminded him of the Lefebre family waiting for him in Amiens.

With a deep breath, he rose and made his way to the nearby forest, where his horse waited, tied to a tree.

“Come, my friend. We have a long, wet journey ahead of us.”

Setting foot in the stirrup, he swung his leg over the saddle and urged the horse to a gallop, feeling his heart rip into pieces with every step away from his beloved.

About the Author

Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

Comment below on the blog with your name and email to enter to win the really cool mug!