Monday, January 15, 2018

Review:Return of the Lycan King: Nicholas and Kristen by Candace Blackburn

One life, one mate.That is the rule for Lycans, and after waiting for over a thousand years, Nicholas Konstantine has finally found his. But Kristen O'Connor doesn't know she is a Lycan. He wants to claim her, but she's scared. Will they face everything together, or will her fears be stronger than their love?






About Return of the Lycan King: Book 1: Nicholas and Kristen

Title: Return of the Lycan King: Book 1: Nicholas and Kristen
Author: Candace Blackburn
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Candace Blackburn
Series: Return of the Lycan King
Format: Digital eBook
Digital ISBN: 9780692994450

One life, one mate. Nicholas Konstantine has been waiting over a thousand years for his mate. But when he finds her, she's completely unaware of her Lycan biology, and she's battling her own personal demons.

Kristen O'Connor is a recovering addict, with some major trust issues. By not letting anyone get close, she won't get hurt. Yet after one meetiing with Nicholas, her walls are crumbling, and she wants more with this man.

But Nicholas reveals his Lycan side, and hers as well. In addition, ghosts from both of their pasts come back to haunt them. Will they face everything together, or will Kristen's fears be stronger than her love?

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

Available: Amazon


Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was going to give 5 stars to the book, but in the end, it didn't work for me as much as I thought it would. First of all our heroine is an addict. That is not bad, unless you count all the bad things she did when she was using (and has regretted them) and how little faith some people aka her brother have in her. Secondly, you have the brother and Cass. I wanted them to get their happy ending in this book and have Dante have his in the third. Now I will have to wait for them to get over their problems in the third book with the unknown release date. I do not know Cass well enough to understand her reaction to her mate's secret (I honestly cannot remember his name). I want them to solve their problems in the next book and get their happy ending. And speaking of the second book, let's talk about how the relationship of the next couple was ruined. Everything was going great and they had admitted the whole "you are my mate thing" but then the heroine had to go and ruin it which led to a cliffhanger ending. Nicholas and Kristen's story ends on a happy note, but two other couples are broken at the moment and even the second book doesn't have a release date. How am I supposed to cope until then? 

The book is not bad for the first in a series, but it's also not great. It got me hooked though and I plan on reading the next two and see what the author plans to do with this unique universe.



Excerpt:

"No." Repeating the word over and over, as if that would negate the reality, Kristen walked to the bathroom and turned on the lights. The fluorescent bulbs weren't needed to highlight what was there. Her pupils were, indeed, a deep yellow. The color was framed by her thickened eyebrows. She swung her hair around and...dear God. Her hair was at least a foot longer than it had been that very morning. Her fingers shook as she held a thick section of red hair.
All she saw were the claws.
The scream was primal and Kristen sobbed as she sank to the floor. Nicholas was there instantly, wrapping his arms around her.
"What is happening to me?"
He rocked her back and forth, rubbing her back in circular motions. "Your body is going through a change."
"No shit, Nicholas. But why me? God almighty, I'm waving the freak flag high enough as it is. Now I'm part animal?" She held her arms in front of her face. "I've got fucking claws!"
"I know, beautiful. I've seen them."
"Don't!"
"Don't what?"
"Call me beautiful. I'm anything but."
"You're incredibly beautiful. Even now, with all the things that are disturbing you so badly."
"They aren't disturbing to you? You spent the night fucking a Lycan, werewolf, whatever and you're perfectly calm." The sobs slowed as she turned to look at him. "Why is that, Nicholas?"
"Because," he said as he held out his hand. Kristen gasped as claws extended from his finger tips. "I'm a Lycan too."

Copyright © 2018 Return of the Lycan King: Book 1 Nicholas and Kristen by Candace Blackburn


About Candace Blackburn:

Candace makes her home in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart husband and their two sons. She's an indie author who has published two previous romances (with a bit of fantasy in each), Tristan's Redemption and Nate's Forgiveness. Her current works are all paranormal romance (her favorite genre to read!) and are set in her home state. She loves coffee, cold weather, the Boston Red Sox, the Carolina Panthers, and hearing from fans.

Connect with Candace: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon



Rafflecopter for Return of the Lycan King: Book 1: Nicholas and Kristen Release Week Blitz Giveaway:

Candace is offering one lucky winner a Sterling Silver Bracelet with a Citrine Charm and a second lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:







Thursday, January 11, 2018

Seducing Her Brother's Best Friend (Tea for Two, #3) by Noelle Adams

Fifteen years ago, three girls were thrown together because their brothers were best friends. Now they're all grown up, and their brothers are grown up too. The Tea for Two series tells their stories. Fans of New York Times Bestselling Author, Noelle Adams, will love this newest playful friends become lovers story featuring Carol and Patrick, releasing January 10, 2017.




About Seducing Her Brother’s Best Friend:

Title: Seducing Her Brother’s Best Friend
Author: Noelle Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 10, 2018
Publisher: Noelle Adams
Series: Tea for Two
Format: Digital eBook
Digital ISBN: 9781386624455

Synopsis:

After too many years being overlooked by men, Carol is ready to take action. She wants a man, and she knows which man she wants. Her brother’s best friend, Patrick Stevenson.

Patrick is funny and brainy and the sexiest man she’s ever known, but he has never looked at her as anything except his friend’s little sister. That’s going to change.

Carol isn’t good at flirting. Or seduction. Or anything that requires putting herself out there. But she’s going to make sure Patrick sees her as a desirable woman—and one he wants for more than one night—even if it turns her whole world upside down. He already likes her a lot. He just needs to open his eyes to how good they’d be together.

After all, how stubborn can he be?

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads


Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


 have separated the book into two parts in my mind. The first one is the good one where Carol and Patrick overcome their hesitations and go from the friend zone to doing the horizontal dance. Everything was good and I was into the story despite having a hero who wasn't the usual type. Patrick has low self-esteem and confidence and he doesn't believe he is worthy of Carol which would have been cute if he wasn't bringing it up every 2 pages. This is the reason I disliked the second part. I was tired of having him and Carol been on and off because she was too good for him. Instead of worshiping her he kept on making things worse and worse. It was frustrating and it made me hate the book a little bit. I was expecting more from Noelle Adams and she disappointed me a little, but it wasn't completely a bad book, hence the reason I am giving it 3 stars instead of 2 or 1.

Excerpt:
She narrowed her eyes even more and gave him a cool glare. “You might as well just admit it. I know exactly what happened.”
He groaned softly. “All right. Fine. I couldn’t believe you’d be acting like… like that.”
Like what?”
She was making this as hard as possible for him, and he couldn’t even blame her. “Like you… liked me.” It sounded ridiculous, immature, but he couldn’t think of any other way to put it.
And you really can’t believe that I do?”
He wanted to be anywhere but here, put on the spot like this. He wanted to get up and leave, somehow escape everything he was feeling.
But, if he did, that would be it. He’d never have Carol in his life again. He might have messed this up completely, but he wasn’t prepared to lose her for good. So he told her the truth. “No. I really can’t.”
Why the hell not?”
Carol almost never used to rough language—even something as mild as “hell.” It seemed to emphasize how upset she really was.
I… I don’t even know.”
She stared at him for a full minute. He could see her chest rise and fall with her heaving breathing. Then she finally got up, muttering, “You’re a real idiot sometimes. You know that, right?” She went to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
He hauled himself to his feet and followed her. “I know I’m an idiot. I know that. But I’m still here, trying to fix things.”
She was staring into her open refrigerator, like she’d forgotten what she’d come here for.
Carol,” he said, touching her shoulder gently. She looked so hurt and wounded. He couldn’t believe he was important enough to her to make her feel this way.
She whirled around to face him. “Why shouldn’t I like you?” she demanded.
He blinked. “Because… because it seems pretty obvious that it’s just because the others have gotten together.”
What does that even mean?”
I mean Emma and Noah got together, and then Ginny and Ryan got together. So now we’re the only two left. I get it. I do. It would make sense for us to get paired up in the same way. But that doesn’t mean it’s… it’s real.”
She made a loud, throaty sound of naked frustration.
Patrick contorted his face as he was washed with self-consciousness and confusion. “I’m trying to be honest here.”
I know you are. I know you are!”
She closed the refrigerator, having taken nothing out. “Why wouldn’t we be good together?”
We’re totally different. If I wasn’t the last guy left in our little group, you’d choose someone totally different.” He knew this much for sure. He’d been rehearsing it over and over again—for months now—reminding himself that any soft looks she’d given him had been based on something other than real attraction.
How do you know that?”
Carol, please. I know I act stupid sometimes, but I do have a functioning mind. And neither one of us deserves to be stuck with… whoever happens to be left.”
She gaped at him. Literally gaped. Then her cheeks paled even more. “You think I’m… just whoever happens to be left.”
Not you,” he gasped, shocked that she’d ever even imagine he felt that way. “Not you. Me. I’m whoever is left.”
You… you… you…” She was panting, couldn’t even get the words out.
Me what?”
You idiot!
He was processing her uncontrolled outburst and so he wasn’t prepared for what she did next.
What she did was launch herself at him, grabbing his head and pulling it down into a kiss.
Since he wasn’t prepared, he couldn’t control his response. And he’d been wanting her too much, for too long, and not letting himself act on that desire.
So he didn’t stop it, even though he knew he should.
He didn’t push her away gently and explain that it couldn’t happen.
He kissed her back.

Copyright © 2018 Seducing Her Brother’s Best Friend by Noelle Adams


Other Books in the Tea For Two series:

Falling For HerBrother’s Best Friend

After too many bad decisions in romance, Emma is going on a man-fast. For the next six months, she's fasting from men. No sex. No dating. No soulful gazes. No fond memories of her first crush. She's going to spend the time focusing on her career, getting in touch with herself, and helping her two best friends with the launch of their new tea room. No men.

And that includes her brother's best friend, Noah Hart, who has just returned to their hometown.

She doesn't want Noah anyway. He might be even hotter than he was before, but he's not a nice guy anymore. He's made a fortune by acting ruthless in business, and the last thing he's looking for is small-town domestic life. He doesn't even want to be in town again, but a sick grandmother guilted him into it. Then he has nerve to not even recognize Emma when he sees her again. Maybe it's been seven years, but a decent guy would remember his best friend's little sister.

Noah is not a decent guy. Anyway, Emma is on a man-fast. And she doesn't want Noah.

At all.

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads



Winning Her Brother’s Best Friend

Ginny Hart loves men. And she loves dating. She just doesn't want a serious relationship. She's tried it before--with her brother's best friend, Ryan--and it's clear she's not cut out for it. So she'll keep having fun and focusing on the new tea shop she recently opened with her best friend.

That's all she needs in her life.

She definitely doesn't need Ryan, who is always hanging around and has turned into a real player. When he challenges her to prove which of them is more popular with the opposite sex, she takes him up on the bet. One month. Four Saturday nights. She'll show him she's not still holding on to old feelings. It doesn't matter if she can't seem to keep her hands off him.

She's not about to let him win.

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads



About Noelle Adams:

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.



:

Rafflecopter for Seducing Her Brother’s Best Friend Review & Excerpt TourGiveaway:

Noelle is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and three (3) Runner-ups eCopy of one book from Noelle’s Tea For Two series (winner’s choice). To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:


Review: Hot Shot (North Ridge, #3) by Karina Halle

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Hot Shot by Karina Halle Release Date: January 9th, 2018 Genre: Contemporary Romance Cover Design: Hang Le
Hot Shot AMAZON
Delilah Gordon has a secret.
She’s been in love with her best friend and the boy next door, Fox Nelson, since she was six years old.
And while most of her friends and family know about her unrequited crush, the one person who remains oblivious is Fox himself. To Delilah, it’s better this way. She’d rather pretend that they’re just friends, even though her feelings for the moody rugged mountain man are anything but tame.
Fox Nelson has a secret too.
As a wildland firefighter or “hot shot,” Fox parachutes into danger every day he’s on the job, risking all to fight wildfires that threaten ranches, forests and thousands of lives. But while Fox’s job is only for the brave, inside he feels anything but. The more he grapples with his raging demons, the more he realizes Delilah is the only one who can put out the flames.
As the two friends grow closer – and more intimate – than ever before, the more complicated their relationship becomes.
And Delilah has one more secret to reveal.
A secret that will change both their lives…forever.

Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Hot Shot is the third book in the North Ridge series by Karina Halle. It belongs in the friends to lovers genre and it was a great read. I loved it and I am definitely recommending it. It wasn't perfect and had some flaws, but when I think of Delilah and Fox's story I only get warm and nice feelings. I enjoyed reading the book and I finished it in one seating. I was very drawn to the story and the writing style was good. Delilah was a great heroine and I loved her. She is my favorite character in this book. Fox wasn't the best hero and he had some moments when I wasn't so sure I liked him. He is not that bad though. And I am still giving it 5 stars

The story can be read as stand-alone, but it's one of those series where you want to read the story from the first book and enjoy the journey of each couple. I know that if a fourth book is released I will read it. I am hooked and I cannot hide it.

HotShot-AN
Start this series of sexy standalone, today!
blog tour

Excerpt:

It’s dark now and quiet except for the crickets. In the distance, the town of North Ridge glows, the lights giving way to the dark mountain ranges behind it and beyond that, a clear, starry sky.

I immediately feel better but it’s not enough. I need to walk, to get my head on straight, to get my heart to stop caving in.

I head down the slope to the barn. It’s second nature to want to come here during hard times. Growing up, if anyone in the house was fighting—and it was usually Shane and Fox—this was where you’d find them afterwards, licking their wounds.

Right now the barn is empty, all the horses are either in their paddocks or the pastures. I glance up at the hayloft and contemplate going up there when I hear footsteps behind me.

I immediately stiffen. It’s funny how you can feel someone’s specific presence without seeing them.

“What’s wrong with you?” Fox asks gruffly from behind me. Typical. Even if he’s concerned, sometimes he comes across like it annoys him to be concerned.

I take in a deep breath and turn around. “I don’t know,” I say, my voice measured. “Just felt a bit nauseous.”

He studies my face intently, so intently that I look away, my eyes drifting over the empty stalls. “I thought maybe I’d pissed you off somehow,” he says.

Is he baiting me?

I meet his eyes. “Why would you think that?”

“You could barely look at me during dinner,” he says, taking a step toward me until he’s a foot away. “Was it something I did? Is this about Conan?”

He’s so damn earnest in that last question that I have to laugh. I fold my arms across my chest. “No, Fox. This isn’t about your squirrel. It’s not about anything. I’m just…tired.”

I can tell he doesn’t believe me and the intensity has changed in his eyes. They’ve become more focused on me, like he’s seeing me for the first time and nothing else around us matters.

“I like this,” he says, his voice sounding thick. He takes a strand of my hair between his fingers and runs them down. “Your hair is so long. You should wear it down more often.”

I roll my eyes and hope I’m not blushing. “You guys are all the same. A girl wears her hair down and puts on some makeup and suddenly you realize that she’s actually hot. It’s like She’s All That come to life.”

Oh shit. I probably shouldn’t have said that last bit out loud since it’s a whole bunch of assumptions and I’m not one to flatter myself like that.

But he just grins. One of those cheeky, warm smiles that makes his eyes crinkle at the corners, the dimples appear in his scruff. He doesn’t smile like that very often and every time he does for me, it makes me feel…invincible.

“Del, I’ve always thought you were hot,” he says, still smiling. No awkwardness or hesitation. He just comes out and says it.

And now I am blushing. “Yeah right.”

“What?” he asks, tucking my hair behind my ear and—hell—his touch causes warm shivers to wash down my back. “It’s true. I mean, look at you.”

Don’t read into it. Don’t read into it.

“Do you remember that birthday party where we played spin the bottle?” I ask him, my voice sounding broken.

He nods. “Kind of.” But he doesn’t remove his hand, keeps playing with my hair.

I don’t know why I’m feeling brave all of a sudden but I am. “Well you spun the bottle and it stopped right at me. No mistake about it. And you got up and said it was stupid and left. Fox, we were good friends and you acted like kissing me was the worst thing on earth.”

His dark brows knit together but his eyes stay warm. “You remember that?”

“Fox. I’m a woman. I’m always going to remember when a boy rejects me, especially my best friend and especially at a young age.”

“But we were young. And I was pretty stupid back then.”

“You thought I was gross.”

He lets out a soft laugh. “I can promise you I did not think you were gross.” His hand then leaves my hair and trails down my arm to my hand. Sometimes Fox holds it and I know I shouldn’t think anything of it but every time he does I wonder if he realizes what it does to me. Then again, I’m starting to think he’s oblivious to absolutely everything.

“I didn’t kiss you,” he goes on, “not because I didn’t want to. I did.” He swallows, shrugs. “I just didn’t want our first kiss to be from spin the bottle.”

Hold up…what?

“What do you mean? Our first kiss?” I repeat, my pulse quickening.

“I don’t know, Del. Back then, I kind of assumed that we would end up together at some point. You know all through high school I had just been waiting to make my move and ask you out. At least figure out if you liked me or not. But then you started going out with that guy with the big ears, what was his name, Ryan McGee? And that’s when I realized that it was probably all in my head. You were just a friend. A sister, even. And I was just a brother to you.”

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

This is way too much to process.

Fox thought we’d end up together.

He actually liked me back in high school!

“You look shocked,” he says, raising a brow. “I thought it was pretty obvious.”

“Obvious?” I blurt out. “No. No it wasn’t.”

He lets go of my hand and shrugs with one shoulder. “It’s funny how life goes, isn’t it? It was probably for the best anyway. Could you have imagined us dating? Being a couple.”

Yes, fucking yes.



Meet Karina: Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
Connect with Karina: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkarinahalle/ Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorhalle/ Join her Reader Group: https://goo.gl/wpCBSS Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/Ve4eCh http://authorkarinahalle.com

Blog Tour: Prince Charming by CD Reiss

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Prince Charming an all-new sexy standalone from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss is available NOW.

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Synopsis:

Keaton Bridge is one hundred percent bad boy.
Cassie doesn't need a boy and certainly not a bad one. Nope. She fights crime for a living, and everything about this guy screams trouble, from his charming British accent to his mysterious past.
And Cassie doesn't do trouble.
Keaton's got his own trouble. He's trying to go legit, and an FBI agent hanging around is the last thing that will help his credibility.
All it took was one night of passion to sear her into his skin. Now he can't imagine living happily ever after without her.
All they have to do is walk away.
But neither of them ever walks away from a challenge.

Excerpt:

The list of crimes that happen on the dark net bounce through my brain as he holds me. Is he going to kill me? Strangle me right here in the parking lot of his own factory? Maybe he wants to try. He’s well-built but I’m pretty sure I can take a computer nerd in hand to hand combat. I just can’t let him get the jump. He goes for me. I’m surprised and prepared for it at the same time. I didn’t actually believe he’d try, but I’m reaching to block an attack while he’s leading with his head, which is weird, but I got this. When his lips smash against mine my body is a split second ahead of my brain. It’s processed the list of dark net violence and thus completes a series of moves to bring down a frontal attack. Even as I’m using his weight against him by holding his arm still while I swing him, letting his high center of gravity do all the work of stripping him of his balance, my mind processes the kiss. Because it was a kiss. A real soft-lipped-slightly-open-mouthed-I want-her-to-like-it kind of kiss. By the time those nice thoughts register I’m slamming him up against the car. I’m a little disappointed that I can’t take back my counterattack. I would have let him kiss me a few more seconds before taking him down. His eyes are open wide and the breath’s knocked out of him. The thump of his body against the car door fades into the night. “Why did you do that?” I ask. He looks at me as if I asked him why he pees standing up. Brows knotted. Arms out. Mouth half open as if he can’t contain the sheer number of answers he could give me right now. “What?” He says it like whot and it’s endearing and haughty at the same time. Damnit. I should have taken that kiss and not gotten all black belt on him. “Don’t sneak up on a girl like that.” I sound like a brat. He straightens himself out, pulling his cuffs down and realigning his jacket. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just do a very impressive judo throw and tell you, out front, that I am going to kiss you. First, I am going to put my hands on your face, because I would like to feel your mouth move when I do it. Then I’m going to tilt my head to the right, so please, you should also tilt your head to the right.” He waits for me to nod, and when I do, he comes close to me and lowers his voice. “I’m going to wait a second once our lips touch, just to make sure we’re both appreciating this first contact. When I open my mouth a little, I want you to do the same. You need to accept my tongue in your mouth.” He puts his hands on my shoulders. “Is that enough of a warning?” “What happens after that?” “It’s unwritten.” He moves his hands up to my jaw, laying his thumbs against my cheeks. He strokes them and I lean forward. He kisses me just like he said he would. His tongue tastes like ice water, and his lips curve into the shape of mine. The adrenaline in my veins blends with something newer and warmer. He slides one hand back and tugs my hair which sends fluids and sensation and pleasure and all my attention between my legs. I push against him just so I can feel him resist. I need to fight him hard as I want him. He’s rigid and yielding all at once, turning us around until I’m the one with my back against the car. I shove him away and he separates from me with a sharp intake of breath. He doesn’t say a word, still holding me by a fistful of hair. The cold clouds of our breath mingle between us. He’s a predator, a criminal, and a mistake. But his jaw is tight and his nostrils flare when he breathes. He’s all those things and a bull charging for the red cape. “Push me away again,” he says, finally, “and we’re done here. And I know for a fact that’s not what you want.” I am the red cape, and I need to be yanked away as much as I need him to charge at me again and again. “When I want you to stop I’ll say so.” I shove him again, and he smiles before laying a kiss on me. It’s not a kiss I fight. It’s a kiss I want. He pauses, pulling his mouth away as if giving me a second to tell him to stop, but I don’t. I don’t start pushing against him until our mouths are locked again. His hips grind into me. I feel his erection through our clothes. I’m clutching his coat without any sense. I want to tear away every stitch of fabric. I push and pull with equal ferocity. I want to spread my legs but my coat’s too long. I want to punch him. I want that hard dick stretching me and I want it to hurt. My mind is wiped clean of everything but need. I don’t have a job or a career. I don’t have dreams built from childhood. I don’t have a name. I’m just a pillar of desire. I’m reduced to movement and hunger. I want his body inside mine. Nothing else.

AVAILABLE NOW.1 Read Today!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2i2MIFJ

About the Author

_21A6258_pp-fbCD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets. Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels. She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood. If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

Connect with CD Reiss:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Release Blitz: Claiming His Secret Heir (The McNeill Magnates #5) by Joanne Rock







Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: January 1, 2018



Blurb

Can he win back his wife?

When Caroline McNeill shows up outside her husband’s mansion, she claims to have no memory of the past year…or their passion-filled honeymoon. But faking amnesia is the only way Caroline can find out if Damon was behind her abduction. She needs to trust him—a man she craves but still barely knows—before she can tell him about their infant son. Did the Silicon Valley mogul merely marry to claim an inheritance then dispose of her? Or is what they share real and forever?







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Claiming His Secret Heir is the fifth book in The McNeill Magnates series by Joanne Rock. The main characters were introduced in the fourth book, so the readers who have read the previous book will be familiar with them and will have a better understanding of their story. I, as a person who read just this book in the series, felt like I was missing something. I never understood why the person who kidnapped Caroline did all these awful things. I got that he didn't want the marriage to happen, but why act like that?

The identity of the kidnapper is pretty obvious from the beginning which was a bad thing. I wanted a little suspense! I know there was a newborn, but I wanted mommy and daddy to bond again over their quest to find out the truth. Not they didn't bond in the book's scenario. I liked Caroline and Damon. They were good as individuals and they were also good as a couple.I liked their story and how they reconnected a year later. I will recommend this book since I plan to read the next one too.





Excerpt

He shook out the waterproof blanket on the snow—plastic on one side, wool plaid on the other. She watched him line up the sled at one end of the blanket before he knelt in the snow to open the picnic hamper. All the while, Caroline rocked the carriage gently, tilting it back and forth. Thankfully, their bodyguard sat outside the trees, keeping an eye on the hill below to make sure no one intruded on their space. She didn’t feel “watched,” per se, although she felt certain the guy kept an eye on them somehow. The team Damon hired seemed very skilled at maintaining a discreet presence.
“I know that I’m not alone any longer, and I’m glad for that.” She debated lifting Lucas out of the baby carrier, but then changed her mind, putting the brakes on the contraption and facing the carrier toward the blanket so they could keep an eye on him.
“Are you ready for the winter picnic to end all picnics?” Damon asked, waiting to open the picnic basket until he had her attention.
He shoved his gloves into the pockets of his vest. His dark hair had a few fresh snowflakes coating the top where he must have brushed against one of the evergreen boughs.
“Do you know what’s in there?” She peeled off her own gloves, ready to eat. “I can’t imagine what a winter picnic entails, so my expectations are fairly low.”
“I packed this myself. And believe me, my expectations run permanently high.” He tipped open the lid with a flourish. “I present to you, the Post-Sledding Woodland Feast.”
Caroline felt her eyes go wide. Crammed inside the huge basket were two brightly colored thermoses and insulated mugs, a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth, a wooden cheeseboard with fresh fruits and cloth-covered cheeses, a tray of shrimp on ice, a stack of Sternos and a lighter, a bag of huge, homemade-looking marshmallows, a tin of graham crackers, chocolate-covered strawberries…
“And champagne!” Her gaze finally reached a bottle of a highly recognizable brand of bubbly inside a champagne bucket. “Is that even legal?” She glanced around, half expecting a park ranger to issue a citation.
“Alcohol in the park is regulated, but not prohibited, so no one will bother us unless we start causing trouble.” Grinning, he gestured for her to have a seat on the blanket. “Get comfortable and I’ll serve us.”
She did as he asked, her eyes still on the stuffed hamper.
“You packed this?” It was a feat of engineering, the way everything was stacked and prepped.
“The technical mind is good for more than designing software, you know.” He pulled out fondue sticks and set them beside the Sterno cans so they could toast their own marshmallows. “And under the champagne is a bottle of whiskey if you’d rather doctor up the hot chocolate.” He produced a smaller basket with airline-sized bottles of Jameson and Baileys, plus a variety of add-in flavors from vanilla and almond to butterscotch.
“You have outdone yourself.” She glanced up into the carriage to check on Lucas. Surrounded by trees on three sides, their picnic spot felt safe and surprisingly private considering the view of the mayhem near Cedar Hill and the row of emerging snowmen lining the biggest walking trail less than fifty yards away.
“I will admit, it’s been hell keeping a lid on the surprise all day.” He found two small hurricane lanterns and placed candles inside them even though the sun still shone brightly outside. Then, he uncapped one of the containers of cocoa and poured her a mugful. “Here. You can add what you like while I work on the seating.”
He scrambled around to the back of the blanket where he used one arm to scoop a pile of snow under the edge of the wool plaid. It took her a moment to understand why he wanted a big lump of snow under the spot where she was sitting. But then he covered it up again, packing the pile into a U-shaped curve to create a support for her back.
“Genius,” she announced, settling into the snow seat with her mug of hot chocolate, the picnic spread out at her feet. “It really is the picnic to end all picnics.”
“I’ll drink to that.” Damon poured his own hot chocolate and settled on the blanket beside her. “Here’s to our first real day as a family.”
She met his blue gaze, his eyes all the more crystalline in the bright sun. He’d taken considerable time and trouble to make the day perfect for her, and Lucas, too. While she’d been sleeping late to catch up on rest, he’d been ordering a special sled and packing the perfect picnic.
“To family,” she echoed, softly clanking her pewter cup to his.
Tipping the drink to her lips, she savored the complex swirl of flavors. She hadn’t added much alcohol, just enough to give a pleasant jolt of warmth on the way down. The almond and vanilla notes were especially good, and the melting homemade marshmallow she’d set on top was a gooey bonus.
She was about to compliment the first beverage course, but when she turned to him again, she felt a flash of heat from the simmering look he gave her. His mug remained untouched, his attention fixed on her mouth.
He was very still.
“What?” Self-conscious, she set her cup aside in the snow. “I have marshmallow all over my face, don’t I?”
Her hand went to her nose, but Damon caught it. He’d set his own drink aside, too, freeing his hands.
“Let me.” He canted closer, his focus shifting to her eyes.
The heat ratcheted up so much it was a wonder they weren’t melting snow.
She could feel her heartbeat quicken, the answering spark she’d always experienced with this man. Time and distance hadn’t broken it. Even forgetting him completely for weeks on end hadn’t erased the response she had to him.





Author Bio

Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.


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