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 Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway of The Dark Soul series by Anne Hope presented by Bewitching Book Tours. Read on for a excerpt from each book and to enter the giveaway.

SoulThief300Soul Thief

Dark Souls

Novella 0.5

Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 Publisher: Samhain Publishing

 ISBN: 978-1-61921-836-9

ASIN: B00CZ8MCFQ

 Number of pages: 151

Word Count: 41 K

 Cover Artist: Kanaxa

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 Book Description:

Born to hunt and destroy…until the light of one soul reawakens his own.

Adrian knows he once possessed a soul, but it abandoned him the day he was murdered. The day he was reborn as a Rogue, shunned by humans and hunted by his own kind. By night he feeds the darkness inside him by finding and snuffing out corrupt souls, perfectly content to live as an outcast—until a random act of violence unites him with a woman who makes him feel.

Angelica Paxton believes everyone deserves a second chance. Even her rescuer, a mysterious stranger with hypnotic powers, an unsettling ability to invade her dreams, and a shocking secret. Much as her body wants to succumb to Adrian’s seductive charms, she can’t. Not without breaking his newly awakened heart.

Adrian swears to protect Angie from his kind, even if staying by her side means volunteering at the center where she works to reform the very souls he has vowed to crush. Even if it means abandoning the shadows for the light. Even if that light exposes the darkest threat he’s ever faced. One from which he is powerless to save her…

Warning: This book contains flying subway cars, a woman in jeopardy, a relentless villain who’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants, and a dark, sexy hero who could very well haunt your dreams and steal your heart.

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Blood snaked around their feet, leaking from the two corpses and saturating the air with a thick, coppery stench. Adrian hated the smell of copper as much as he hated the substance itself. At least it wasn’t angel’s blood. Thank heavens for small favors.

The girl continued to watch him with wide, expectant eyes that were speckled with green and gray and a hint of brown around the pupils. Those eyes sucked him in, distracted him. Again he wondered why she hadn’t fled the scene yet. What did she care if he killed the men who’d assaulted her? He knew what they would’ve done to her given the chance. They would’ve raped her repeatedly, then left her broken and bleeding beneath the subway stairs.

But she did care. He could tell by the way those deep, fascinating eyes misted. “No one has the right to decide who lives and who dies,” she whispered. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Her words awakened feelings inside him he’d believed long dead. Compassion. Guilt. The desire to see approval in another’s eyes. Adrian wasn’t ruled by compassion, he didn’t succumb to guilt, and he most certainly had no desire to impress anyone, especially a human. So this sudden gush of neediness and remorse jolted him more than the gunshot had. It threw him off his game, and he did something that surprised even him. “Go. Get out of here,” he rasped in a rare display of mercy. “Both of you.”

The delinquent didn’t budge, and neither did the woman.

“I’m doing you a favor,” he said, looking pointedly at the rough, unshaven youth. Around his head, the kid wore a red bandana, and tattoos bruised his neck and arms. “Don’t blow it. If I catch you hurting anyone again, if you as much as witness another act of violence and do nothing to stop it, I’m coming after you.”

The guy nodded feebly, finally awakening from his trance, then scampered up the stairs, leaving Adrian alone with the woman.

Exhaling the breath she’d been holding, she released his arm and collapsed against the nearest wall. She brought her hand to her mouth, tried to settle her racing heart. An ordinary man wouldn’t have been able to hear her unsteady pulse from this distance, but Adrian was no ordinary man. Her heartbeat pounded inside his skull like the choppy notes of a drum at the hands of an inexperienced player.

The surprising urge to comfort her gripped him. He wanted to reassure her that everything would be all right, but he didn’t know how. Adrian didn’t belong in the human world, had spent his entire existence policing its perimeter like a well-oiled machine. The human heart was as much a mystery to him as the universe itself.

“Are you all right?” Dumb question, but it was all he could think to say.

A thin stream of blood dripped from her nose, and she wiped it away with the back of her hand. “I’m okay.” Despite her assertion, her words lacked conviction. “Just a little shaken. Not to mention confused.”

She rummaged through her purse and pulled out a tissue, which she pressed to her bleeding nose. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” He connected with her mind, attempted to convince her that what she’d witnessed was a murder-suicide and nothing more.

But to his dismay, she wasn’t as easy to influence as most humans. Hers was a perfect soul, powerful, untarnished and oddly familiar. Beautiful waves of energy spilled from her body to bounce off him and scramble his thoughts. The unease she elicited within him grew, as did his curiosity about her. He should’ve walked away from her and never looked back, but he couldn’t. He was fused to the spot, chained by an electric force he’d never before experienced and failed to understand.

“I saw a show once,” she said. “A hypnotist made this guy strip down to his boxers, then cluck like a chicken. Is that what you are?”

“A chicken?”

“A hypnotist.”

He couldn’t tell her what he really was. Humans weren’t wired to comprehend things beyond the scope of their mundane world. But he needed to give her some kind of plausible explanation, and this one was as good as any. “You could say that.”

Bewilderment clouded her gaze, as did a potent dose of mistrust. “He shot you. I saw him shoot you. Why are you still standing?”

“Bulletproof vest. I never leave home without it,” he lied.

Accepting his reply as truth, she clutched her fancy purse to her chest, hugging it like a baby. She had no idea what the men really wanted from her. As far as Adrian could tell, she thought this was a run-of-the-mill mugging.

He opted not to correct her misconception. Even if he did, she probably wouldn’t believe him. “What do you have in there worth dying for? And why are you out wandering around the subway past midnight?”

“I’m on a humanitarian mission.”

He lifted a sardonic brow at her unexpected reply. “How’s that going for you?”

“Not so well.” She stared regretfully down at the body twisted at strange angles at her feet. The other lay about two meters away, just as ravaged.

Adrian shook his head in disbelief. The woman was feeling sorry for them. If she knew the monsters they really were, the potential for brutality that had existed within them, she wouldn’t be standing here mourning their passing.

She squeezed her eyes shut, blocking out the ugly sight of death. Or maybe it was him she feared looking at. When her lids sprang open again, her gaze held such disconcerting awe, he was tempted to reach out to her, to gather her close and reassure her she was safe with him.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Adrian.”

“Adrian who?”

“Just Adrian.”

Her throat worked as she swallowed. “I don’t know whether to thank you for saving my life or run away screaming.”

A dark current cleaved the atmosphere, warned him they were no longer alone. “Run.”

Soul Thief-Unconditionally

 

SoulBound300Soul Bound

Dark Souls

Book 1

Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 Publisher: Samhain Publishing

 ISBN: 978-1-60928-948-5

ISBN: 978-1619211391

ASIN: B007HCWHAK

 Number of pages: 338 e-book

312 paperback

Word Count: 111 K

 Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter

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 Book Description:

The one man she wants is the one man destined to destroy her.

Sooner or later we all end up dead. Jace Cutler doesn’t have the luxury of staying that way. After receiving a fatal stab wound, he awakens in a hospital room in Portland, Oregon, with no memory and a big hole where his soul used to be. Worst of all is the glow. Everyone is surrounded by a strange white aura he hungers to possess, none more compelling than the one enveloping Dr. Lia Benson.

Lia has always been ruled by reason, refusing to put stock in such nebulous things as destiny. Until Jace dies in her arms, then miraculously comes back to life. Whenever he’s near, her soul responds and her body burns. And she’s consumed by odd dreams she’s convinced are Jace’s lost memories.

When Lia is kidnapped, Jace tracks her and discovers a shocking explanation for who—and what—he is. Something no longer human, a dark legacy that until now has lain dormant within him. Something that could destroy the one woman he’d sacrifice everything to protect.

Warning: Contains bone-melting sexual tension, scary battle scenes, heartrending emotion guaranteed to keep you turning the pages well into the night, and a positively divine hero who may just steal your soul.

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He wasn’t in bed beside her. He’d slipped out of the room so quietly, she hadn’t heard him walk away, which was quite an accomplishment because she was a very light sleeper. A sense of loss she couldn’t explain swamped her, so she shot out of bed and went in search of him. He couldn’t have run off. Not again. Not before she could sort this out.

She found him in the kitchen, sitting at the table, staring at his joined hands. Relief flooded her veins. “I thought you left.”

“I considered it.” He refused to meet her gaze. “But I’ve got nowhere else to go.”

Heat again. Whenever she was near him, warmth spread around her heart like a pocket of sunlight. Crazy. Total insanity was what this was. Jace Cutler was all wrong for her. Hadn’t she seen what he’d done to Cassie? Even worse, her sister was still hung up on the guy.

“I can find out where you live, if that’ll help—”

“Can’t stay there.” He shook his head, ran his fingers through his hair until it stood out in uneven tufts that begged to be smoothed out. “First place they’ll look.”

Now it was her turn to be frazzled. “Who?”

“Don’t know. Them. The things that are after me.”

“Jace, you’re not making any sense. Let me take you back to the hospital, run that MRI—”

“No.” The finality in his voice silenced her. “If you don’t want me here, I’ll go. But there’s no goddamn way I’m going back to that hospital.” There was steel in his tone and a passion that bordered on fury.

He must’ve noticed the startled look in her eyes, because a mouthful of air whooshed out of him. “Sorry. I’m not myself today. Whoever the hell that is.”

Compassion prevailed over nerves, and she approached him. “At least let me take a look at that wound, make sure it’s not infected.”

He nodded noncommittally. Pulling a chair beside him, she prepared to help him the only way she could. Her spine tingled at the thought of what she would find when she peeled off the bandage. His was the strangest burn she’d ever seen. “Don’t move,” she ordered, then proceeded to unwrap the gauze.

Her hand suddenly stilled, surprise and disbelief lancing through her. The burn had healed. His skin was pink and virtually intact, marred only by a thin, silver scar where the wound had been. She traced the mark with her finger. An electric charge instantly traveled up her arm and shook her body. “I think I’m hallucinating.”

He slanted a glance at his arm, reached over to touch it. His fingers grazed hers, and the heat increased tenfold. “Then we’re both trapped in the same nightmare.”

“I don’t know how to help you,” she voiced honestly. “I don’t understand any of this.”

“Just don’t bail on me.” A river of pain, wrapped in a silent plea, swam in his eyes.

She felt him then, the boy in her dreams—felt his isolation, his self-loathing, the soul-ravaging desire to be something he wasn’t—and she knew beyond a doubt the flashbacks she was having belonged to him. Somehow, in that one moment when death had stood vigil between them, their spirits had merged—undeniably, irrevocably. Whether they liked it or not, they were connected, linked by an energy they couldn’t see or touch or taste but was more real than anything either of them had ever known before.

And it scared the crap out of her.

“Why you?” Emotion strangled her voice. “Of all the men out there, why did it have to be you?”

She didn’t need to explain; he understood. Need flared in his gaze, and for one endless heartbeat she was sure he was going to kiss her. His hands rose to bracket her face. His head fell forward. The world held its breath…or maybe it was just her. Some primal intuition told her that once his mouth covered hers, there would be no going back. The bond would be cemented, the deal sealed. Two independent entities would become one.

“If I asked you to kiss me, would you do it?” His words caressed her lips.

“Yes.” No hesitation. No doubts. Just honesty.

“Because you want to or because I told you to?”

She wagged her head in confusion. “Does it matter?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t know what’s real anymore.” He released her, and disappointment rippled through her. “I’m not what you need. I’ll only drag you down. That’s what I do. I don’t need my memories to know that.”

He stood, walked to the window and stared outside, where a blanket of clouds hovered beneath a flickering sun. “I destroy everything I touch.”

She wanted to refute his claim, but how could she, when everything inside her insisted he was right? What scared her was how little she cared. She needed to be near him, and damn the consequences. She’d always been the reasonable one, the responsible sister, the one who thought things through. But right now recklessness invaded her psyche, steamrolled every word of caution screeching in her mind.

“I’m not afraid of you.” He was dangerous, no question about that, but for some inexplicable reason she felt safe with him.

“You should be.” He took a few predatory steps toward her, then twined his fingers in her hair in a gesture that was passionate enough to be painful. “I can get inside your head, make you do anything I want.”

“I doubt that.”

“I’ll prove it.” A wicked glint deepened his eyes to emerald. “Take off your robe.”

She crossed her arms over her chest, dug her heels in, literally and figuratively. “Cassie told me you have a way of always getting what you want from women, but this shocking display of overconfidence is a little much. Even for you.”

Surprise clouded his features. “It doesn’t work on you.” She couldn’t tell if what she caught in his voice was pleasure or regret.

“What doesn’t work on me?”

“Nothing. Forget it.”

Irritation swept in to tighten her stomach muscles, followed closely by exasperation. “You can really drive a girl mad, you know that?”

A tight laugh resonated in his chest. “You’ve got no idea.”

Soul Bound-Halo

 

SoulDeep300Soul Deep

Dark Souls

Book 2

Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 Publisher: Samhain Publishing

 ISBN: 978-1-61921-250-3 e-book

ISBN: 978-1-61921-681-5 paperback

ASIN: B009ZCG07Q

 Number of pages: 301 e-book

304 paperback

Word Count: 100 K

 Cover Artist: Kanaxa

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 Book Description:

Save her life…or save mankind. His choice could cost him his soul.

For nearly two centuries, Marcus has been the Watchers’ most faithful soldier. Sworn to protect humanity, driven by an unrelenting compulsion to atone for past sins, he has rarely found a compelling reason to question his mission, let alone defy his leader.

His partner, Regan, is his exact opposite, an enigma he longs to solve. A free spirit and reckless to a fault, Regan acts first and thinks later. Her smart mouth and tender heart have fascinated Marcus for decades, but the Watchers’ strict vow of celibacy has forced him to ignore the sizzling attraction between them. Until now.

When Regan goes rogue to protect a very special little boy, Marcus is forced to make an impossible choice—commit an act of treason or watch the woman he secretly loves die.

Hunted by enemies and allies alike, Regan and Marcus run for their lives, fighting to thwart an age-old prophecy and guard a boy whose destiny may very well be to destroy the world…or save it.

Warning: Contains violent battle scenes, angels with twisted agendas, nail-biting suspense, intense emotion, burning-hot sexual tension, and a sexy, stubborn hero who would rather face death than admit what’s in his heart.

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Marcus found Regan standing at the top of one of the numerous cliffs that barricaded the Watchers’ complex, staring down at the sea, her features pinched with concentration. The rain had finally stopped, but dampness still hung in the salt-laden air. A thin mist hugged her feminine figure, making moisture bead on her skin. She looked intangible, as elusive as the fog encompassing her. Regan was so strong and capable, he sometimes forgot how delicate she was.

The sight of her standing so close to the edge triggered all his protective instincts, and something else—the forbidden desire to touch. “Penny for your thoughts,” he said, burying his fists in his jacket pockets, where they wouldn’t be tempted to stray.

She smiled but didn’t turn to look at him. “Is that all they’re worth?”

“You drive a hard bargain. How ’bout a quarter?”

She laced her arms across her chest as the sun slowly set behind red-hued clouds. “What’s going to happen to him, Marcus?”

He didn’t have to ask her who she meant. Ever since they’d found Ben cowering in that kitchen, the boy had dominated her thoughts, maybe even her heart. Marcus had never believed it was possible for their kind to love, but recently he’d been forced to revisit that assumption. He’d seen it firsthand with Jace and Lia, and now he was seeing it again with Regan. Maybe one didn’t necessarily need to have a soul in order to love. Maybe just the echo of it was enough, similar to a phantom limb that continued to throb long after it was severed.

“Cal hasn’t come to any decisions yet,” he told her.

A brisk breeze blew, sending her curls rioting around her face. Again, he was seized by the urge to reach out to her, to smooth back her hair, to run the pad of his thumb across her mouth.

 A mouth meant to be kissed.

He gave himself a mental kick, focused his attention on the churning waves below. He had no business kissing Regan. No business even thinking about it. When he’d taken the blood vow, he’d made a conscious choice to swear off sex, same as all those who bore the Watchers’ mark.

Only Jace and Lia seemed exempt from this oath, and Marcus couldn’t for the life of him figure out why. He’d seen Cal punish his followers for far less a crime. If there was one thing his leader demanded, it was absolute loyalty.

Regan picked up a pebble, then flung it over the cliff into the restless ocean. “Do you believe in destiny?”

The question took him off guard. “I’m not sure. I know Cal swears by it.”

“I didn’t ask about Cal. I asked about you.” She ran her fingers through her hair, exactly as he’d imagined himself doing. “Cal’s always preaching about fate, and for the most part, I believe him. But deep down, there’s this inkling of doubt, and it gets me thinking sometimes. If everything really is preordained, what happens to free will? Does it even exist or are we just being strung along?”

“When did you go all philosophical on me?”

She inhaled deeply, drawing his attention to the gentle swell of her breasts. Ignoring the kick beneath his ribs, he looked past her, fixing his gaze on the rocky shore again.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been having this feeling lately, like there’s something I’m supposed to do, but I’m not sure what that is. I only know it involves Ben. He’s important somehow.”

He’d been having the same feeling, but he refrained from telling her. The last thing he wanted was for her to grow even more obsessed with the boy. In their world, obsession and impulsiveness often spelled disaster.

“Regan, you need to trust Cal to do the right thing. You know the drill—no Watcher can deviate from the plan. If you do anything, anything that compromises the mission, you will be labeled a Rogue. And you know better than anyone how the Watchers deal with Rogues.”

They hunted them down and exterminated them. The idea of that happening to Regan tore a painful strip out of him. He’d spent too many years training her, working alongside her, fighting to keep her alive, to lose her now. Had she been capable of reading his thoughts, she would’ve argued that she was the one always bailing him out of trouble, and she would’ve been right. She’d saved him more times than he could count. They were a team, more in tune than most, able to regenerate each other with nothing more than a touch, thanks to the Watchers’ bond.

The truth was, he couldn’t picture his life without her.

Losing the battle, he clasped her arms and turned her to face him. “Promise me you won’t do anything stupid.”

She tensed at his touch, inclined her head to look at him. “Define stupid.”

Those sweet-looking lips hovered inches below his, too damn appealing to ignore. Right there and then, standing at the edge of a deadly overhang ensnared by Regan’s smoky gaze, Marcus understood the precise meaning of stupidity.

He was tempted to demonstrate, but he didn’t. Releasing her, he secured a safe distance between them. “Just think before you act. That’s all I ask.”

She visibly deflated, and he could’ve sworn disappointment momentarily flittered across her face. Above them, the sun’s dying rays struggled to pulse against a sky determined to suffocate them. Regan grabbed another pebble and sent it whizzing through the air with a note of finality. “Thinking is overrated.”

A bitter laugh rumbled in his throat. If he wasn’t so damned disciplined, he would’ve agreed.

Soul Deep-All of Me

 

SoulChase300Soul Chase

Dark Souls

Book 3

Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

 ISBN: 978-1-61921-890-1

ASIN: B00DUB2554

Number of pages: 306

Word Count: 90K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

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 Book Description:

 A man she’d die for, a world she was born to defend… Only one can survive.

For twenty-five years, Adrian has mourned the loss of his soul mate, Angie. He’s content to live as an outcast…until a series of abductions forces him out of seclusion and into the arms of the very woman he loved and lost. Angie’s reincarnation, Emma.

Emma is on the run, hunted by soulless creatures whose one goal is to possess her soul. They have taken everything: her home, her identity, her mother. Left with no other choice, she must trust her fate to Adrian, the enigmatic stranger who comes to her rescue. An immortal being whose illicit touch makes her blood burn and awakens an inexplicable desire in her heart.

Emma follows Adrian to his isolated community in Arizona, where she is assailed by visions of a past life. As passion ignites and her enemies close in, Emma is drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems and where love could prove the greatest weakness of all.

Warning: Contains a dark, tortured hero, a hunted woman who can’t remember loving him, a nasty villain hell-bent on destroying the world, and a timeless love story you won’t soon forget.

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The wind howled, and a branch whipped at the window. Emma shot up in bed, wrapping her arms around her legs. She flung a reassuring glance at the switchblade by her bed. A blade she’d coated with blood and placed on her nightstand, within easy reach should she need it.

Holding her breath, she waited for the familiar sound of glass shattering. But all she heard was the sigh of the wind and the gentle rasp of shoes scraping the pavement. It was probably one of the other motel guests, but Emma had been on the run long enough not to discount a potential threat. All her instincts went on red alert.

She grabbed the switchblade, flipped it open and slid across the wall toward the door. It was nearly dawn, and fog drenched the budding day. Drab gray light trickled through the window, peeling back the shadows.

There were only two points of entry to the room she occupied—the window and the door. Emma stood between the two, gripping the pitiful blade, trying to calm her racing heart. She couldn’t move, couldn’t so much as breathe. If she did, they’d hear her.

She closed her eyes, mauled her lower lip and waited. Branches tapped at the window again, and her stomach folded.

Just the wind.

A bird serenaded the imminent break of day, then grew suspiciously silent. Nature had a way of going mute whenever a predator drew near. Emma’s fingers tightened around the switchblade. Her lungs began to burn, and she had no choice but to inhale.

She hated this. Hated the clench of fear that gripped her, the dreadful anticipation coursing through her veins, the sense of helplessness that inevitably followed each attack.

What would it feel like to know peace, if only for a day?

The doorknob jiggled, and her muscles turned to stone.

 Here we go again.

There was a time when weeks—even months—had elapsed between incidents. In the past year, however, the attacks had escalated.

The lock clicked, and the door swung open. Emma’s palms grew damp around the handle of the knife.

Come on. What are you waiting for? Show yourself, you bastard.

Just as she was about to burst out of her skin, a man’s elongated shadow spilled through the open doorway. Then he was standing in her motel room, his wide back turned to her, his dark head angled in concentration. Hatred saturated her bloodstream, fueled by pain and anger.

He was one of them.

She sensed the darkness inside him, the emptiness. No soul beat in his chest. Emma was sure of it.

With a sharp intake of breath, she gave in to the fury and pounced. The man sensed her and turned, skillfully deflecting her blow and sending her stumbling backward. Raising the switchblade, she launched herself at him again.

She wanted to hurt him, badly. She wanted him to pay for all the years his kind had stolen from her, for all the sleepless nights she’d endured, for all the worry and pain she’d suffered these past few hours. But above all, she wanted to punish him for being the inhuman creature he was.

His iron grip closed around her wrist, prying the blade from her fingers as he immobilized her against the wall. His hard body pressed into hers, a living barrier boxing her in, knocking the very air from her lungs.

Emma struggled, striking his broad chest with her fists, knowing she was no match for him but unwilling to surrender yet. She growled like a cornered animal, raising her leg and attempting to knee him in the groin. Anticipating her move, he took a step back, and Emma missed her target.

“Take it easy.” He wedged his forearm over her sternum, nailing her to the wall again. “I’m not here to hurt you.”

“Don’t lie to me.” She exhaled in short, quick puffs. “I know what you are.”

Her assertion surprised him, and his hold on her slackened. Taking advantage of the opportunity, she dropped to her knees and scrambled to retrieve the switchblade he’d wrestled from her grasp. Her fingers brushed metal just as he flung her around on her back and flattened her wrists against the grimy carpet.

“If you didn’t come here to hurt me,” she challenged, “what the hell do you want?”

“To help you.”

Dawn slowly swept in, and soft, pink light spilled from the window to illuminate his face. Emma’s lungs squeezed in surprise. He looked like an angel—a dark angel, with an angular jaw, sharp, chiseled features and eyes as blue as the midnight sea. Tousled black hair brushed his forehead and curtained one of his brows. His sensual lips hovered a few inches above hers, and she could feel the heat emanating from them…from him.

For a moment she lost the ability to form a coherent thought. He was beautiful, hard and defined, a Greek sculpture pinning her to the ground. His muscular leg was slung across hers, his fingers encircling her wrists like a pair of steel shackles.

She couldn’t stand feeling trapped, even if a dark angel was doing the trapping. “If you want to help me, let me go.”

He hesitated, his gaze capturing hers. Confusion pinched his brows as he studied her face. Then he did something so unexpected, so tender and intimate, Emma’s next breath snagged in her throat.

He reached up and caressed her cheek. Shock and affection gleamed in his navy-blue eyes, roughening his voice. “Angie?”

Soul Chase-Let Me Go

 

Anne HopeAbout the Author:

Anne Hope is the author of emotionally intense romances with a twist—a twist of humor, a twist of suspense, a twist of magic. All her stories, however, have a common thread. Whether they make you laugh or cry or push you to the edge of your seat, they all feature the redeeming power of love and the heart’s incredible ability to heal.

Anne’s passion for writing began at the age of eight. After penning countless stories about enchanted houses, alien girls with supernatural powers, and children constantly getting lost in the woods, she decided to try her hand at romance.

She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, her two inexhaustible kids, a lazy cat and a rambunctious Australian Kelpie.

 www.annehope.com

 https://twitter.com/AnneHopeAuthor

 https://www.facebook.com/annehopeauthor

 https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/772411.Anne_Hope 

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$100 gift card at Amazon and a digital copy of any book in the Dark Souls series.

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Witch’s Bounty by Ann Gimpel

Witchs Bounty Banner 450 x 169

 Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway of Witch’s Bounty by Ann Gimpel, presented by Bewitching Book Tours. Read on for my review and an excerpt from the book.

WitchWitch’s Bounty

The Witch Chronicles, Book 1

Ann Gimpel

 Publisher: Taliesin

Release Date: 3/6/14

 Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance

 Word count: 63,000 words

A demon-stalking witch teams up with a Sidhe, but their combined power, never mind their love, may be too late to make a difference.

Book Description:

One of only three remaining demon-stalking witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way out the door to help, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to northern England to quell a demon uprising there.

Duncan swallowed uneasy feelings when the Sidhe foisted demon containment off onto the witches two hundred years before. He’s annoyed when the Sidhe leader sends him to haul a witch across the Atlantic to bail them out. Until he sees the witch in question. Colleen is unquestionably the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Strong and gutsy, too. When she refuses to come with him, because she’s needed in Seattle, he immediately offers his assistance. Anything to remain in her presence.

Colleen can’t believe how gorgeous the Sidhe is, but she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. She, Jenna, and Roz are the only hedge Earth has against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it. Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

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Witch’s Bounty made for a fun and interesting read. The world created by the author was good, but there were not much details regarding them. There were witches, Sidhes, faes, gnomes/changelings. It was a short and sweet read and the one thing I had any problem with was the insta-love between Colleen and Duncan.

Colleen, Jenna and Roz are the only three demon-hunting witches left alive. When there is a sudden surge in powers of the Irichna demons, it is upto them to send them back to the last circle. The witches and the Sidhes don’t have a pleasant relationship, so when Duncan comes asking for their help, the witches are not very receptive.

Duncan is in Fairbanks, Alaska to take Colleen and her friends with him back to northern England to quell the demon uprising there, but the moment he sets eyes on her he is taken aback. She is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and he wants her. Her indifference and hostility was not surprising considering how the Sidhe Council turned their backs on the witches when they asked for help. 

Colleen is struck by how gorgeous Duncan is. But she doesn’t have time for a roll in the hay. There are demon uprisings in Seattle she has to take care of. Along with her familiar Bubba, her friend Jenna and Duncan, they leave to take care of the out of hand situation.

It was well written and the characterization was good too. The fight scenes were well written and so was the scene in which Collen along with Bubba and Duncan takes the Irichna demon to the last circle of hell.

The insta-love aspect of the book did not sit well with me in the beginning. But Collen and Duncan’s relationship seemed like it was years old. As if they were together for a long time. Their understanding of each other was quite surprising given they only knew each other for a matter of days. I loved how they were together affectionate, and caring and a bit wicked at times. 

I love the banter between Collen, Jenna and Roz. Their camaraderie reminded me of the kind of relationship I share with my best friends. The teasing and leg-pulling, even standing up for each other and fighting together. I loved their relationship.

The most adorable and lovable character was without a doubt Bubba. He was loyal, fierce, and like a child. He loved Collen and her friends and would have done anything for them. He is also quite passionate when it comes to his kin and how they were mistreated by the Sidhe. He sure knows how to throw a tantrum, but you can’t help but love him.

Overall a great book with great characters. I’m looking forward to 
Jenna and Roz’s books. They were real fun characters too. All three girls were kick-ass, short-tempered, independent and just plain fun. Good job by Ann Gimpel. I’ll be sure to read more of her works.

4/5 stars

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…The bells around the shop door clanged a discordant riot of notes. “Crap!” Jenna shot to her feet. “I should have locked the damned door.”

“Back to cat form.” Colleen flicked her fingers at Bubba, who shrank obligingly and slithered out of clothing, which puddled around him. She snatched up his shirt and pants and dropped them back into the canister.

“I say,” a strongly accented male voice called out. “Is anyone here?”

“I’ll take care of the Brit,” Colleen mouthed. “Take Bubba to the basement and practice.”

She got to her feet and stepped past the curtain. “Yes?” She gazed around the dimly lit store for their customer.

A tall, powerfully built man, wearing dark slacks and a dark turtleneck, strode toward her, a woolen greatcoat slung over one arm. His white-blond hair was drawn back into a queue. Arresting facial bones—sculpted cheeks, strong jaw, high forehead—captured her attention and stole her breath. He was quite possibly the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. Discerning green eyes zeroed in on her face, caught her gaze, and held it. Magic danced around him in a numinous shroud. Strong magic.

What was he?

And then she knew. Daoine Sidhe. The man had to be Sidhe royalty. No wonder he was so stunning it almost hurt to look at him.

Colleen held her ground. She placed her feet shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her chest. “What can I help you with?”

“Colleen Kelly?”

Okay, so he knows who I am. Doesn’t mean a thing. He’s Sidhe. Could have plucked my name right out of my head. “That would be me. How can I help you?” she repeated, burying a desire to lick nervously at her lips.

“Time is short. I’ve been hunting you for a while now. Come closer, witch. We need to talk.”

***

Duncan Regis eyed the grim-faced woman standing in front of him. She was quite striking with such stunning bone structure—high cheekbones, square jaw—she could have been a runway model. Her unwavering pale blue eyes held his gaze. Dressed in brown wool slacks, a multicolored sweater, and scuffed leather boots, she had auburn curls that cascaded to waist level. A scattering of freckles coated her upturned nose. Her lips would have been full if they weren’t pursed into a hard line.

He knew he was staring, but couldn’t help himself. Colleen was tall for a woman, close to six feet, with well-defined shoulders, generous breasts, and a slender waist that flared to trim hips. He smelled her apprehension and was pleased she was able to cloak it so well with the defiant angle of her chin and the challenge in her icy stare.

Despite his earlier command, she didn’t move. Annoyance coiled in his gut. He could summon magic and force her, but he wanted—no, make that needed—her cooperation. Compulsion spells had a way of engendering lingering resentments. He smiled, but it felt fake so he gave it up. “I like women with spirit, but I’m used to being obeyed.”

She frowned and tilted her chin another notch. “I’ll just bet you are. I’m not coming one angstrom closer until you tell me why a Sidhe is hunting for me.”

Surprise registered. He tried to mask it, just like he’d attempted to disguise himself in a human glamour. Duncan tamped down a wry grin, wondering if his second ploy had worked any better than his first.

“Not really.” She tapped one booted toe. “I read minds. You’ll have to do a better job warding yours, if you want to keep me out.” Colleen exhaled briskly. “Look. Maybe it would be easier if you just told me why you’re here. I’m sort of busy just now and I don’t have a bunch of time to spar with you.”

“You don’t have any choice.”

“Oh yes I do.” Anger wafted from her in thick clouds. Along with it a spicy, rose scent, tinged with jasmine, tickled his nostrils and did disconcerting things to his nether regions. He resisted an urge to rearrange his suddenly erect cock. Colleen unfolded her arms, extended one, and pointed toward the door. “Out. Now.”

“You’re making a terrible mistake—”

“Maybe so, but this is my turf. If you force me with your magic, you’ll have broken the rules that bind your kind—and the covenant amongst magic-wielders.”

Duncan’s temper kindled, but it didn’t dampen the lust seeping along his nerve endings. Rules be damned. He could flatten this persnickety witch, or better yet, weave a love spell and bind her to him that way. Maybe he should do just that and have done with things. He clasped his hands behind him to quash the temptation to call magic. The movement stretched his trousers across his erection, making it obvious if she chose to look down.

Something dark streaked from the back of the shop and planted itself in front of him, hissing and spitting. Gaia’s tits. A cat. He stared at it. Hmph. Maybe not a cat after all. Duncan reached outward with a tendril of magic. Before it reached the creature, Colleen bent and scooped it into her arms. The not-a-cat wriggled and hissed, but she held fast.

“Leave him alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “He’s mine.”

Duncan narrowed his eyes. “Damn if it isn’t a changeling. How’d he end up with you?”

Her foot tapped the scarred wooden floor again, its beat so regular it could have been a metronome. “I asked you a whole lot of questions.” She took a step backward. “But the only one I want to know the answer to is—”

“What the fuck are you doing?” Jenna wavered into view, having teleported in from somewhere. Her gaze landed on the cat. “Thank Christ! For a minute there I thought the little bastard got away from me.”

“Jenna,” Colleen snapped. “The Sidhe have deigned to call.”

The other woman whipped around and stared at Duncan. He stared back. What was it with these witches? Had they taken some sort of potion to supersize themselves? She made Colleen look positively petite. Jenna sidled closer to Colleen; part of her height came from high heels, but she was still an imposing woman. “What does he want?” she growled.

Duncan cleared his throat. “I’m right here. You can ask me.”

“Fine.” Jenna put her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”

“How do you know I want anything?” he countered, trying to buy time to figure out what to do now. He hadn’t counted on two witches, and a changeling.

“Because if you didn’t, Colleen would have shooed you out of here by now. You really do need to leave. We’re busy.”

He snorted. “Yes. Colleen made that abundantly clear.” He looked from one witch to the other. At least his erection was fading a bit. Crowds always had a dampening effect on his libido. Many other Sidhe thrived on group sex, but he’d never appreciated its appeal.

“Either tell us what you want right now,” Colleen moved toward him, cat still in her arms, “or leave. I’m going to count to three—”

“Maeve’s teeth, witch! We’re on the same side.”

“Generally speaking,” Jenna joined Colleen about three feet away from him, “that’s probably true, but the Sidhe have never helped us.”

Colleen quirked a brow. “No, they haven’t.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I have this prescient feeling that Sidhe-boy here is about to ask for a pretty big favor.”

“Sidhe-boy?” The dregs of his lust scattered; he crimped his hands into fists. “Show some respect.”

“You’re not respecting me,” Colleen said. “I’ve asked you to leave—twice. No, make that three times.” The not-a-cat finally twisted free. He skimmed over the distance to Duncan and buried his claws in his leg.

“Why you changeling bastard!” Duncan shook his leg. The thing didn’t even budge. He bent, curled his hands around the furred body, and tugged. The thing bit him. Anger flashed. Magic followed. The changeling howled and fell into a heap on the floor.

“Goddammit!” Colleen shrieked. “He was just trying to protect me. If you’ve killed him…”

“I didn’t. He’s only stunned.” Duncan rubbed his ankle, glanced at the puncture wounds on his hand, and directed healing magic to both places.

Colleen sprang forward and gathered the creature into her arms. Duncan felt her magic quest into its small body. She blew out an audible breath. Cradled against her, shrouded by her long hair, the changeling mewled softly.

Duncan shook his head. He’d hoped to be subtle, accommodating, encouraging, so the witch would at least hear him out with an open mind. The time for that was long past. “All right.” He spread his hands in front of him. The flesh wounds on the one were already nearly closed. “I’m here because we’ve had problems with Irichna demons—”

“Christ on a fucking crutch,” Jenna cut in. “Seems like they’re on everyone’s mind these days. We were just—”

Colleen rounded on her. “Shut up!”

“Oops. Sorry.” Jenna held out her arms for the changeling. “I’ll just take him and—”

“No.” Colleen’s voice was more like a growl. “You’ll stay right here.” She placed the changeling in the other witch’s arms and turned to face Duncan. “I know you’re Sidhe, but who are you?”

“Duncan Regis.” He held out a hand. She ignored it, so he let it drop to his side.

“Regis, Regis,” she mumbled, her eyes narrowed in thought. “Ruling class from somewhere in Scotland.”

He nodded, impressed. “Northern England, at the moment, but the border has moved around a bit over the years. I do lay claim to Scottish roots. I didn’t know witches studied our family lines.”

“Witches don’t, but I did.”

“Any particular reason?” He was almost sorry he’d asked. She had strong feelings about the Sidhe, and he was about to find out why.

The changeling yowled, obviously recovered from his semi-comatose state. Jenna cursed and set him down. “Damn it! He scratched me.”

Duncan thought about saying something cheery, like welcome to the club, but bit back the words.

Colleen rolled her eyes. “He wants to talk. There’ll be no peace until he shifts.” She flicked magic toward the creature winding itself between her booted feet. The air shimmered and a rather large gnome took form.

He rocked toward Duncan with a bow-legged gait that made him look like a drunken sailor; his open mouth displayed squared off teeth. “I’ll tell you why she knows about you.” The changeling drew himself to his full height of about three-and-a-half feet. “She came to the Old Country looking for help during the last demon war. You Sidhe were too high and mighty to get your hands dirty, so she had to settle for me.”

Colleen snickered. “Not exactly the way I might have described it, but close enough. Hey, Bubba! Get some clothes on.”

“Later,” the changeling snapped without looking at her.

“Which of us did you approach?” Duncan made the question casual. Whoever turned Colleen down had broken the covenant binding magic-wielders to come to one another’s aid in times of need. He wondered if she knew.

“Of course I do.” She sneered. “Your thoughts are as transparent as a child’s. Even Bubba here,” she pointed to the changeling, “does a better job masking his feelings when he puts his mind to it.”

“Thanks.” The changeling glowered at her before transferring his attention back to Duncan.

“What kind of name is Bubba?” Duncan linked to the changeling, and was surprised by the complexity of his thoughts. Maybe the witches had been a good influence.

“You didn’t have to just push your way in.” The changeling screwed up his seamed face in disgust, but didn’t draw back. “My true name is Niall Eoghan.”

“Clothes,” Colleen reminded him.

Bubba made a face at her, turned, and walked behind one of the display cases. When he emerged, he wore wide-bottomed green trousers and a black shirt.

“Irish.” Puzzle pieces clicked into place and Duncan transferred his attention back to Colleen. “You never did tell me who you’d asked for help. It appears they not only turned you down, but chased you across the Irish Sea.”

“We left voluntarily,” Jenna said.

Colleen’s lips twisted in distaste. Whatever she remembered apparently didn’t sit well. “We spoke with two Sidhe at Inverlochy Castle outside Inverness. They refused to give us their names, but said they were princes over your people. They heard us out and sent us packing. Gave us twenty-four hours to leave Scottish soil.”

“I was all for staying,” Jenna chimed in. “After all, we had passports.”

“Was it just the two of you?” Duncan asked.

“Roz was with us,” Colleen said.

Understanding washed through him. “Three. You brought three to maximize your power.”

Colleen’s full mouth split into a chilly smile. “We were under attack by the Irichna. Would you have done any less?”

“Probably not. So after we, that is, the Sidhe—”

“We worked fine,” Bubba said flatly. “Unless you’ve decided to renounce your heritage.”

Duncan traded pointed looks with the changeling. “Speaking of magic, you’re stronger than any changeling I’ve ever come across.”

“That’s because you’re used to our feeble Scottish cousins. They were stronger before you stripped their magic and diverted it for your own purposes.”

“Enough.” Colleen snapped her fingers. “Or I’ll change you back into a cat. We don’t need a history lesson just now.” She shook her hair back over her shoulders. The movement strained her sweater tighter across her breasts. Duncan dragged his gaze elsewhere.

“About the Irichna—” he began.

“We can’t help you,” Colleen said flatly.

“Why not? We’d pay you well.”

“It’s not a matter of money, although I’m not sure you could afford us.”

“We have an, um, previous engagement,” Jenna offered.

“Whoever it is, we need you more than they do.” He looked from one witch to the other.

Colleen dropped her gaze and rubbed the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index fingers. When she looked up, the skin around her eyes was pinched with worry. “I’m not sure it’s a matter of who needs whom more.” She speared him with her pale blue gaze. “Do the Sidhe know why the demons are so much more active here of late?”

He debated how much to tell her. Given her ability to burrow inside his head, it was unlikely he’d be able to hide much. If he told her everything, though, it might piss her off. Hell’s bells, it annoyed the crap out of him. “Not exactly.”

Her nostrils flared. “You can do better than that. If you can’t, the door is behind you.” She folded her arms beneath her breasts. “Talk now or leave now. It’s all the same to me.”

Ann  About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

www.anngimpel.com

http://anngimpel.blogspot.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/anngimpel

http://www.facebook.com/anngimpel.author

@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

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Review: Bound by Lies by Hannah Peach

bound by liesI got a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange of an honest review

Bound by Lies is my first book by Hannah Peach, and though initially I wasn’t really impressed with it, the second half of the book was what sold it to me. One interesting thing in this book is that the female protagonist is never named. Not once. In all the 312 pages of the book, we don’t find out what her name is. Everyone just calls her different endearments. For the sake of the review I’m going to call her Kitten. That’s what she was called by Caden throughout the book.

Kitten has had a rough past and she has been running from those monsters for almost five years now. She has lived in six cities in five years. Devoid of any relationship, she leads a lonely life. Men are just a distraction for her. And in one such trip is when she finally interacts with Caden Thaine. 

She is a frequent at the club Bound, where she picks up men. It is in this club that she first sees the handsome and hot guy. Always from afar. But when her recent pick-up gets a little too physical despite her saying no, the sexy stranger comes to her rescue. For the first time in five years, surrounded by the stranger’s “Musky and manly with a hint of wood smoke underneath”, she feels safe. When he leaves after helping her, she decides to follow him just so she could stay with him for a while longer and bask in his safety. What ensues is an romance where they try to create “our own version of together”.

There is ample physical chemistry and sexual attraction between Kitten and Caden. While Kitten wants to just sleep with him and get him out of her system, Caden is determined to go slow, romance her and seduce her one step at a time. He demands complete trust from her and blind obedience to his rules. Break any rule and their relationship is off. This three rules:
    1. Be patient.
    2. I can touch you, but you can’t touch me.
    3. You are not allowed to touch me.

Initially Kitten is willing to follow all his rules, because like him she has her own secrets that she is not willing to share. As long as she can get some semblance of a relationship from Caden she is happy. Though he only contacts her through notes, and she has no way of contacting him. They never meet at her place or his, only a place outside, and never the same place twice. 

Throughout the book Caden is secretive and is never to answer any of Kitten’s questions. We only get a very small glimpse into Caden’s past and that too because Kitten went snooping. After six months together when just his touch is not enough, when the desire to know more about him is pretty much inevitable, Kitten decides to take matters into her own hands. But she never dreams that Caden will make right on the threat to walk away if she breaks any of is rules.

I did not much enjoy the first half of the book. Kitten was pretty much obsessed about sex with Cade. The guy would be just standing there and she would have already undresses him in her mind and got to work. Had this happened once and maximum twice, I wouldn’t have minded. But this was a constant occurrence in the first half of the book, and that pretty much grated on my nerves. I almost DNFed the book, but I’m glad I persevered. 

The second half of the book is when all the action happens. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was face-paced and action packed. We finally find out what happened in Kitten’s past to get her running in fear. We see a different Kitten in this part of the book. She is confident, determined, ready to kick-ass. She still goes putty in Caden’s hands, but she holds her own. 

When her past collided with her present, she’ll need to run again. She knows she can’t run forever, but right now that’s the only thing that’ll keep her alive. But she doesn’t count on Caden finding her before he gets a chance to run. I’d already guessed Caden’s involvement with Jacob, who was Kitten’s ex-boyfriend and her nightmare. He is determined to protect Kitten, and she is determined to protect herself without any help from Caden. But when it becomes clear that her only chance of escape is with Caden, she is willing to take it.

I found the ending pretty anti-climatic. I thought something more would happen, but it didn’t. The book is worth reading only for the second half of it, because I honestly loved that part. Had the rest of the book been like that, it would have gotten a solid 4, 4.5 stars from me, but since that wasn’t the case, it’ll have to make do with 3.5 stars. By the looks of the first half, I’d have only given it 2 stars maybe even less, but the second half redeemed it. Now i’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series and finding out what happens with Kitten and Caden and how they survive the wrath of Jacob. And hopefully we’ll finally find out what Kitten’s actual name is.

3.5 stars

Review: The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

426a5-21531394 I got a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange of my honest opinion

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding was a sweet and fun novella. The characters, especially Jocelyn Rathbourne was great. 

Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne is a master in making rash decisions. Her latest? Holding a gun to the Duke Thornton head and demanding marriage. As far as rash decisions go, this one was formidable. Or so she thought. Her intended was not Sebastian Thornton, but his brother. But since his brother has already married , she’ll take what she gets. 

Sebastian Thornton needs an heir, which means he needs to marry. When Jocelyn comes into his house waging a gun and demanding satisfaction for being wronged, he knows he wants her. And is willing to do anything to get her. But that doesn’t mean he won’t give her a little trouble.

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding was a great read. I loved the banter between Sebastian and Jocelyn. They were explosive together. I especially liked Jocelyn’s feisty spirit and her determination. Sebastian had a ability to be an ass at times, but he manages to redeem himself. They relationship progresses slowly rather than in one fell swoop. 

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding was well written, with a strong storyline and enjoyable characters with some depth to them.

3.5/5 stars

Review: The Affair by Lily Maxton

36e6d-21531373 I got a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange of my honest opinion

The Affair was a sweet, passionate and romantic novella and one that I enjoyed a lot. Usually novellas leave me wanting for more, but with this one, Lily Maxton managed to get everything done in just 81 pages.

Elizabeth Thornhill is a widow. She finds her life lacking and is quite restless. She is unable to find anything that holds her interest. Even when she was married, her life was mediocre at best. When she walks into a bookshop on one rainy day and pretty much crashes into the proprietor Cale Cameron, her life takes an interesting turn.

Cale Cameron loves books and he loves women. He has never been ashamed of it. And he knows how to get what he wants. And he wants Elizabeth. From the moment he sees Elizabeth duck into his shop all drenched in rain, he is attracted to her. the He is a known rake and associating with him might just be the ruin of a lady. 

I loved the banter between Cale and Elizabeth. It was fun and always made you smile. Cale was a good guy with a bad streak or rather a naughty streak. He knows very well how to coax what he wants from Elizabeth. He has never had a long lasting relationship and even with Elizabeth he is afraid to take that step.

Elizabeth was a woman who followed all the rules of the society. She listened to her parents and did everything they said. She never voiced her wants and needs. Her opinions never mattered. Until Cale. With Cale coming into her life she grows into herself, she grows more confident, and for once in her life she feels wanted, as if she matters. 

It was a really sweet story. Passionate where it needed it to be. Ms. Maxton has done a very good job with this book. She managed to put into mere 81 pages what most authors put in a whole novel.

4/5 stars.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Pretending by Shanna Clayton

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Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway of Pretending by Shanna Clayton.  A well written contemporary romance with a dash of mystery.  Read on for a review and to enter the giveaway.

PretendingPretending by Shanna Clayton

Publication date: March 12 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

Four years.

That’s how long Wesley Kent has to live with the girl his dad shacked him up with, and then he can collect his inheritance and escape small town life. He gets through the prison sentence by pretending Dahlia Reynolds doesn’t exist. With three years down and one more to go, he doesn’t expect much to change. That is, until the girl that’s not supposed to exist sharpens into his reality, making it impossible to ignore her.

Three years.

That’s how long Dahlia Reynolds has been living with a total stranger. She’s convinced herself Wesley Kent is no more than illusion in the hallways. It’s easy to do, especially since that same illusion has never spoken more than two words to her. But one mistaken identity later, and she finds herself caught up in the mysterious world Wesley lives in. One by one, he begins knocking down the safe, comfortable walls she built, leaving her wondering what his motives are. Does he want to expose her—or free her?

Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20879074-pretending

Purchase:

–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pretending-Shanna-Clayton/dp/1497318718/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396880837&sr=8-1&keywords=Shanna+Clayton

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Pretending was a very good and well written novel. I liked the characters, the story and the mystery. The book had a somewhat somber and solemn feel to it. That is not to say that the book wasn’t enjoyable. ‘Cause it really was.

For the past three years Dahlia Reynolds has been living in the same house as Wesley Kent as strangers. They don’t know anything about each other, other than the fact that the other person exists. They have made it a point to go out of the way to stay clear of each other. 

Wesley Kent has to share his house with Dahlia for four years in order to get his share of inheritance. Both he and Dahlia are required to go to school and complete their education, and stay together. If they break any of these rules, they won’t get their share.Wesley lives the life of a wild child. Parties and women are his daily dose of medicine. But his love lies in archaeology. There is a good guy hidden behind the cool facade of his. 

After three years of pretending that the other other person doesn’t exist, a case of mistaken identity throws them into each others paths and their lives. The quite and shy Dahlia suddenly finds herself in the midst of Wesley Kent’s world.

After three years of being virtually non-existent to each other, Wesley does not have a hard time putting forth a hand of friendship, and maybe even something more. Dahlia on the other hand is bit reserved and takes a while while to warm around to him. They grow out of their shells with each other and maybe even for each other.

The mystery aspect of the book was, well, mysterious. I never suspected anything. The characters were well developed and all of them were enjoyable. I like Gwen, one of Dahlia’s beat friend very much initially. She was fun and outspoken and didn’t mince her words. But her one act made me dislike her. Mainly because I hate what she did and can’t understand the reason behind her actions.

There were quite a few secrets which were revealed which were pretty shocking. Especially the real culprit behind the threats to Wesley. Dahlia’s secret was not quite shocking. I figured it out way before Wesley did anyway.

The one thing I did not like about Wesley, despite saying he trusted her, he did not trust Dahlia. It only took one girl and her misunderstanding of a situation to make Wesley question Dahlia. But I forgave him for that, because he really is a sweetheart otherwise. He was caring and affectionate, naughty fun and adventurous. I especially liked the ending of the book. It was so sweet and romantic.

I really enjoyed the archaeological part of the book. The constant references to Wesley’s father and brother, his achievements, Dahlia’s dreams related to archaeology. Their trip to Egypt was quite enjoyable too. even they were practically being kidnapped and blackmailed. This whole aspect of the book was quite fun and intriguing. I loved what Dahlia did for Wesley’s brother. It was very sweet and considerate of her.

Over all Pretending was a very well written and well thought out book. Really enjoyable and emotional when needed. A definite recommend.

3.5 stars1

ShannaAUTHOR BIO

I’m not sure if my mother predestined me to become a romance author when she named me after her favorite Kathleen Woodiwiss book, but that’s what happened. Now I live  and breathe all things books. When I’m not glued to my desk writing, I can be found eating too much chocolate, obsessing over Game of Thrones, and cyber stalking my favorite authors. Keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram. I love hearing from readers!

Author Links:

http://www.shannaclayton.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shanna-Clayton/150812255128856

https://twitter.com/shannaclayton

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7870980.Shanna_Clayton

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Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway- The Reason Series by Zoey Derrick

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the reaso-CompleteCollectionThe Complete Collection

All four books in Zoey Derrick’s Best-Selling Paranormal Romance

Give Me Reason

Give Me Hope

Give Me Desire

Give Me Love

Vivienne Callahan has known only hardship. As if growing up with an alcoholic, drug addicted mother wasn’t traumatic enough, she’s escaped from her physically and verbally abusive boyfriend only to struggle every day to make ends meet as a waitress in a Minneapolis diner.

Along comes Mikah Blake…

the reason series

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GIVE ME REASON

Give Me Reason was a short read. It was a bit emotional, and even inspiring. The book had a somber mood, primarily because of Vivienne’s past. The book has been categorized as paranormal, but the only hint of anything paranormal is found only in the prologue.

The one thing Vivienne Callahan knows very well is hardship. Living with her alcoholic and drug-addict mother was a hardship. Being in a relationship with Riley was a hardship. After all he put her in a hospital for three days. And now working a shitty job, with a shitty boss, with a kid on the way is also a hardship. Sure it is better than an abusive ex-boyfriend and an uncaring mother. After all the pain she has seen in her life, Viv just wants to give up. But when the reality of her pregnancy hits her full force, she is ready to pick up the pieces and start over.

Mikah Blake is a handsome and rich businessman. A gut feeling or rather a pain in his back caused by his tattoo leads him to the diner Vivienne is working in. When he sees her he is dumbstruck by how fragile and unhealthy she is. He tries to help her, but she refuses him time and again. His persistent and unexpected interest in her baffles Viv. After finding her footing after all these years of absue, and probably because of that abuse, Viv is reluctant to take his help.

The best thing about this book was Vivienne. Even though she was on the verge of giving up early in the book, once the reality of her pregnancy hits her, she is willing to get her act together. She finds help; albeit unexpectedly from her doctor and for the first time in her life she takes it even. She realizes she can’t make it on her own and that she needs help. She tries to set her pride aside and start thinking about her child. She is determined to do right by her child. That one step she takes toward changing her life, makes Vivian a commendable character.

Like the name of the book, Vivienne just needs a reason to get her life back on track. And she finds that reason in her unborn child. The book ends on a cliffhanger which surely made me eager enough to pick up the next book promptly.

3.5/5 stars

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GIVE ME HOPE

This book picks up right after the cliffhanger ending of Give Me Reason. This is all from Mikah’s POV.

With the help of Mikah Vivienne was moving forward in her life. Taking care of herself and her unborn child. But when the ugly past rears its head, will Vivienne survive?

Vivienne’s ex, Riley has trashed her around and left her for dead. The only person who can save her is Mikah. When Mikah reaches her studi apartment, Mikah finds Vivienne unconscious and with no pulse. Afraid that she may be dead, Mikah rushes her to the hospital. 

Through most of the book Vivienne is unconscious and in the hospital. And Mikah was always around taking care of her. He was so caring and affectionate. He stands by her through everything. He is also not a man who is afraid of his emotions. He openly weeps for Vivienne and sees no shame in doing so. 

We find out more about Mikah. A bit about his past, about what he is and what his relationship to Vivienne is. The whole supernatural aspect of the series is unveiled in this book. His tries his best to deal with everything he finds about himself, but occasionally freaks out too. He has not been fully able to embrace what he is. 

Finding out the reason for his attraction/attachment to Vivienne only makes him all the more protective of her and her child. Vivienne also finally puts her pride aside and accepts Mikah offer of help; a job and a place to live. Vivienne’s final acceptance of his help gives him hope for their future

This book was even more emotional than the first one. Mikah feelings just tugged at our heart. There is definite progress in Mikah and Vivienne individually as well as in their relationship. I’m eager to find out where their life takes them.

3.5/5 stars

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GIVE ME DESIRE

Give me Desire stars off where Give me Hope left off. Mikah is bringing Vivienne back from the hospital, giving her a condo in the building he lives. It always hits me how much Mikah cares about Vivienne. He takes care of everything, her food, her clothes, a place to live, a job. Every. Damn. Thing. He is a real keeper. He stands by her through every step of her healing and helps in the process too. 

This also happens to be the most descriptive book till now. We see glimpses of the Elysium and Vivienne finally finds out who she is and what she can do. The descriptions of Vivienne as an angel, her beauty and her wings make you go oohh and ahh.   She is a lot more receptive of the supernatural than Mikah and quite easily accepts it all. 

Everything is not as it seems around Vivienne and Mikah. Some unexpected and some not so unexpected people turn out to be from the supernatural world like Viv and Mikah. The author gives us a kicker right at the prologue. We do see a tiny bit of supernatural action in this book.

In Give me Desire Vivienne finally accepts her attraction to Mikah. His kindness and thoughtfulness, not to mention their shared dreams all helps Vivienne to finally accept it. In this book they finally give in to their desire and pave a way for a future together.

4/5 stars

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GIVE ME LOVE

The final book in the series, Give Me Love ramps up the action factor, and the descriptive factor.  There is a lot more action in this book and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Vivienne and Mikah have finally taken a step towards a whole new relationship, they are slowly learning to let go of the walls surrounding them and let the other person in. Things have been a bit quite ever since Vivienne was in hospital, but they don’t stay quiet for long. With the death of Vivienne’s mother, her past just comes crashing into her present.

Mikah is finally learning to fully accept his powers and being an angel. There is finally a chink in his armour. His is not as confident of himself as the rest of the books and that just makes him more human.

Now more than ever Riley is chasing after Vivienne, determined to claim what is his. But Vivienne is also stronger than she was just a few weeks ago. She will fight for her life and she’ll fight for her child and make sure she wins.

A lot more mysteries are solved, a war is fought and the good guys come out victorious. This book was undoubtedly the best in the series and just made me fall in love with Zoey Derrick as well as the world she so intricately wove. This was one hell of an amazing book and won’t be my last book by Ms. Derrick.

4.5/5 stars

Up until about the third book, individually the books were good but not great. But if you read all four books as one whole book, it surpasses the great factor. The characters and their worlds are woven so beautifully and intricately that one can’t help but fall  in love with it. You see the characters growing, getting stronger and accepting their destinies and finally becoming one. I would definitely recommend this series to any lovers of the paranormal world, hell in fact I’d  recommend it to everyone.

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give me loveAbout Zoey:

It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, a mortgage underwriter by day and romance and erotica novelist by night, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.

Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

About Zoey | Goodreads Amazon Zoey on Twitter | Zoey on FB

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10 eBook Copies of the Complete Collection for each tour host

2 Swag Packs that include:

 The Reason Series Posters 

The Reason Series Notebooks 

Swag Fun! 

Full Collection, Signed Print Copies

 2 Full Collections, Signed Print Copies

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Follow the Tour:

 

4/7 - Parajunkee.com

 

4/8 - shaynareneesspicyreads.com

 

4/9 - bookbriefs.blogspot.com
parayournormal.wordpress.com

 

4/10 - cbybookclub.blogspot.co.uk

 

4/11 - ljsecretaddiction.blogspot.ca

 

4/13 - www.cocktailsandbooks.com

 

4/14 - www.aliisbookjungle.com
lynnareynolds.wordpress.com
www.stephaniekeyes.com

 

4/15 - breatheinbooks.blogspot.com 
ambersupernaturalandya.blogspot.com

 

4/16 - saaratis.wordpress.com
www.librarymistress.com

 

4/17 - www.paranormal-bookclub.com

 

4/18 - shaynavaradeauxbooks.blogspot.com
www.mangamaniaccafe.com