Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: ARC Review


In the world of the Lux, secrets thrive, lies shatter, and love is undeniable.

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout brings her trademark drama and intrigue to a new romantic YA science fiction series with The Darkest Star. A girl pulled into in a world she doesn't understand finds herself confronted by long buried secrets, a betrayal that could tear her life apart...and Armentrout's most swoonworthy book boyfriend yet.

Seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher knows firsthand the devastating consequences of humanity's war with the aliens. When she's caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen...but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she'd only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head...

Click to Buy on Amazon:


About Jennifer Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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Yvette's Review:

The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my all-time favorite series. While I don’t read much science fiction, the combination of the storyline and the characters of Kat and Daemon made this series unlike anything I had ever read before. It was refreshing and exciting and incredibly addictive, ensuring I was a loyal fan throughout the series. Getting to return to the world of the Luxen several years later with a new hero and heroine at the helm therefore made The Darkest Star one of my most anticipated reads of the year. And once again, Jennifer L. Armentrout does not disappoint, delivering an action-packed thrill-ride. With so many secrets, so many unknown threats, and so much mystery surrounding protagonists, Luc and Evie, The Darkest Star is riveting page-turner from start to finish.

For those that read the Lux Series, The Darkest Star picks up four years after the Luxen invasion. Not only is the existence of alien life common knowledge, but the government is regulating the Luxen to eliminate potential threats. As seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher soon discovers, there are beings too powerful to be controlled or contained. It’s when Evie meets Luc, a handsome and mysterious young man, that her world is turned upside down, making her question everything and everyone she’s known. Though Evie and Luc clash from their first meeting, there’s an undeniable connection between them that keeps bringing them together.

Between Evie’s interactions with Luc, rising tensions between Luxen and humans, and Evie’s discovery that she’s far from the ordinary girl she believed herself to be, The Darkest Star is filled to bursting with drama, action, and suspense. The narrative starts off at full speed ahead and only increases in momentum with each chapter, leading to a jaw-dropping finale. And let’s not forget the potential romance between Luc and Evie, which will set your pulse racing in an entirely different way. Their snarky-filled, flirtatious banter and reluctant attraction provides endless entertainment as well as comic relief. Like Evie, I was both intrigued and perplexed by Luc’s enigmatic persona and veered between swooning over him and wanting to strangle him. There’s really no in between. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

At the end of The Darkest Star, I was left shell-shocked and wanting more. While some of my questions were answered and part of my curiosity was satisfied, I have a feeling that things are only going to get more complicated. If this is just the beginning of the Origin Series, I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Evie and Luc.

*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars


Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc. #2) by Rachel Van Dyken: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway


In #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken’s scorching series, revenge is a justified pleasure…

Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.

Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!

Actually…could it be?

Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.

Click to Buy the Liars, Inc. Series on Amazon:


Guest Post:

Isla Turner's Top Ten Reasons To Stay Away From Jessie "Freakin" Beckett

I like control.

And I think arrogant cheating men are the devil.

Its why I cofounded Dirty Exes PI, to pin down scoundrels with the tip of my stiletto heel.

My names Isla and I have a confession to make.

I think football players are sexy.

This poses a problem since enemy number one just happens to want to take down my entire company with his massive quarterback hands. Did I mention he has massive hands already? Stupid, who likes big hands anyways? Not this girl!

He wants to destroy me.

I want to end him.

I never lose.

Besides, I've come up with a fool proof plan, I'm a woman on a mission, a woman who likes order, and lists, so I've conjured up a list of ten reasons Jessie Beckett is the absolute worse (I may have been drinking wine, but it was the only way to power through).

10. His eyes crinkle when he smiles. I hate it. It's distracting and I think he does it on purpose just to appear friendly to the elderly. He's satan in sheeps clothing.

9. He has too many abs. I know it seems an unusual thing to be upset about, but theres just too much muscle? It's...disgusting. When he's shirtless I look away and I pray. You know, for his digestive system, theres only one way you get that much muscle, protein shakes, gross.

8. He helps orphaned children. I think it's a ploy for attention, theres no way it's genuine.

7. He's too competitive, which means you always have to have your A game.

6. His kisses are too, passionate (trust me I hate that I even know) it's like you're the sole focus of his entire world which would be fine if you weren't getting kissed on camera in front of hundreds of thousands of Patriots fans!

5. He's arrogant. So. Arrogant. The guy doesn't even need words, he just gives off this smug look and sea's of people part or just pass out completely.

4. His megawatt smile makes my face hurt. No botox in that forehead, it's all huge and ready for the next picture op.

3. He's secretive. Which makes him sketchy, he doesn't want people prying and he thinks I'm the biggest one of them all!

2. His pantry is pathetic, no color, nothing exciting, or fun, and his cereal is all, well dont get me started on his cereal. I actually took care of this point, but it still makes my eye twitch.

1. He had the best fake proposal I will probably hear. Ever. Which just makes him the ultimate bad guy, who does that to a girls heart? When she knows full well it's not real? He's a horrible, horrible human being and I can't wait for everyone to see what I'm talking about when they read Dangerous Exes!

About the Author:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com

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I was a planner.

I had one Erin Condren planner for work, and another for home and recreational activities like my biweekly running and yoga sessions.

I even mapped out my meals on the front of my fridge in different-colored chalk for each day of the week. I’d never faltered in my routine, I never forgot to highlight, to color code. It was my life.

Until Jessie.

He was the wrench you throw in the perfectly good engine, causing it to sputter to its death.

I picked up the binoculars again, despite Blaire’s heavy sigh. “He’s just … staring right back at us. Leaning against his stupid Tesla like he owns the world. Why is he even driving a Tesla?”

“Why are we mad about his car again?” Blaire asked in a bored voice.

I glanced over my shoulder. “Don’t you have a date with your perfect man-bun-wearing millionaire hotel-empire-owner slash bartender?”

“I love that you actually included the slash.” Blaire laughed. “And yes, yes I do.” She walked over to me and jerked the binoculars from my death grip. “Give it a rest, he’s just trying to get into your head. He’s still pissed about everything that was leaked to the press.”

“That wasn’t our fault and you know it.” I put my hands on my hips. “That was his blood-sucking wife trying to make us and him look bad.”

I’m a professional.

I’m in control.

Breathe in and out.

Everything is fine.

I’m co-partner of one of the premier PI companies in Hollywood.

I’m the BeyoncĂ© of catching cheaters with their pants down.




“Right.” Blaire nodded slowly. “But in the end it just made him look stupid in front of the entire world—in front of a world that he’s trying to make a better place through all of his charity endeavors, which means, even though he’s not a terrible person, everyone now thinks he is.”

A headache pulsed behind my temples, I rubbed my head and tried to think of a solution. It’s what I did. I fixed things. I fixed broken marriages, relationships, and if a client was too far gone and in a free fall, I handed them a safety net and made it better.

Yet every time I thought of Jessie Beckett I either wanted to inflict violence on his person, or just … huh, I guess all I really wanted was to fight him.

I was tall.

He was muscular.

I would lose.

He would laugh.

Plus it would mean touching him.

I shivered.

“Cold?” Blaire grinned.

“You’re still here?” I said, confused.

She shoved me toward the door. “Go talk to him, throw up the white flag, and move on. Thanks to the news, we didn’t get the short end of the stick and have a client load that’s going to force us to take on another employee.”

I sagged a bit. “Right, you’re right. Okay, I’ll just tell him it’s over. How hard can it be? He has to be bored out of his mind anyway. He’s been there all day.”

Blaire smiled and then gave me an encouraging nod before walking to her car. I gulped at Jessie and stared him down, all six foot four of him.

There were so many things wrong with him as a human that I was offended just thinking about them.

For one, his eyes were too knowing, like he’d already done a search on every single part of your body that responded to male touch and memorized it just in case he got the chance to corner you.

His light eyes against tan skin, dark hair that was a bit longer in the back curling at the ends and making a girl think about giving them a tug.

And don’t even get me started on his muscular build.

It said one thing, in bold colors above his head, that he put physical perfection above all else and wanted everyone else to not only know it, but comment about it, appreciate it—he basically had a big giant freaking “You’re Welcome” sign hovering over him. And it irritated me.

It irritated me that when I’d tried to get close to him during our investigation, he didn’t play into my hands as easily as I was used to with most of our targets.

And to be honest, it stung a bit that when I dumbly threw myself in his face in order to distract him from Blaire—he looked at me like I was a sad excuse for bait. I’d never had a guy react to me in that way, typically it was easy to distract them, tempt them to default to their cheating tendencies, catch them on camera, and be done. But Jessie … Jessie hadn’t even blinked in interest—if anything, I annoyed him. Which in turn annoyed me, made me try harder to push his buttons, until he relented and we became friends.

He gave me another small wave.

I steeled my gaze and made the slow, painful walk across the street.

From friends.

To enemies.

In one final swipe.


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The Memory of You (Sanctuary Sound #1) by Jamie Beck: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway


When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love.

Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.

Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.

Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good? 

Click to Buy The Sanctuary Sound Series on Amazon:


Guest Post:

Meet Steffi Lockwood the Heroine from Jamie Beck’s The Memory of You

Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about Sanctuary Sound, I'm Steffi Lockwood. I admit, it is strange to be back in my sleepy hometown after spending so much of my youth wanting to escape to something bigger and, in my mind, better. But life in Hartford didn’t live up to my dreams. I wouldn’t say I left because I got attacked, but it was a wake-up call for all the ways that life wasn’t really making me happy. One night while watching my favorite HGTV show, I got inspired to quit my construction job and return home to start my own home renovation business with my childhood friend, Claire, a designer.

While I enjoy the quiet beauty of our small coastal Connecticut town and am happy to reconnect with Claire, my dad, and my brother Ben, my homecoming isn’t all roses and sunshine. Although my mom died long ago, I can’t help but miss her when I’m at my dad’s house on Lilac Lane. I’m also dealing with some kind of brain fog, most likely from the many concussions I’ve suffered, including the last one I got when attacked. Then there’s the rift between Claire and our other dear friend, Peyton. We used to call ourselves the Lilac Lane League and were the closest of friends. I really relied on that sisterhood (having only brothers, myself). Now I’m trying to remain neutral, but that’s not easy when I have to live and work with Claire, and she’s still brokenhearted because her ex ran off with Peyton. But the biggest regret that follows me around town has to do with memories of Ryan Quinn, my high school sweetheart—the greatest guy in the world that I was dumb enough to ghost in college.

Like I mentioned, when I was younger, I thought I wanted a bigger life. I didn’t want to be like my mom, who married and died young without ever seeing anything of the world. I wanted adventure, and to get that, I had to break free from town and from Ryan. Fast- forward to now, when his mom just hired me to convert her porch to a family room. I didn’t know she needed to expand her house because Ryan’s marriage imploded and he’s just returned from Boston with his young daughter, Emmy. Let me tell you, ours was not a pleasant reunion. I did my best to apologize and be polite, but there’s only so much shaming I can take before I push back. Still, I’m not the same young girl I was back then and I’d love a chance to make amends with Ryan. His daughter is a real spitfire who makes me laugh, too.

Whatever happens with Ryan, I know I can take care of myself and make a success of this business, especially once this stuff with my memory heals. If I can also help my friends repair their relationship and win Ryan’s forgiveness, too, I’m going to try. At the very least, I can be the kind of friend to his daughter, Emmy, that his mom was to me when I needed one. Wish me luck!

About the Author:

National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She’s a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking, and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Fans can learn more about her on her website: www.jamiebeck.com, which includes a fun “Extras” page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone at www.facebook.com/JamieBeckBooks.
Social Media Links:


“I do understand, Emmy. Better than you think.” Steffi took the partially folded tarp and snapped its final fold on her own, then crouched to Emmy’s eye level. “I wasn’t much older than you when my mom died. I missed her so much it felt like the whole world turned into a dark black hole. Most days I wanted to jump right through that hole and follow her to heaven. I was so angry that she left me like that, even though she couldn’t help it. But I kept all those feelings tight inside, like a ball right here.” Steffi pointed at Emmy’s stomach. “Holding all that stuff inside hurt, but it made me feel strong. It seemed better than crying, for sure. Then a girl named Claire moved in across the street. She was very sweet and sporty, and I liked her right away. I was lucky because she was patient with my moods. And at the end of our street was another girl our age, Peyton. Peyton was popular, but it turns out she was kind of lonely, too, for other reasons.

“Anyway, somehow that summer we all started spending time together. We gave ourselves a name—the Lilac Lane League—and we started a journal, because Peyton liked to write. We wrote down our dreams and the things that made us mad, and the things that made us laugh. Our crushes, first kisses, all that stuff. Little by little, that knot in my stomach unwound because my friends made me less lonely. That’s how I know the fastest way to feel better is to make a new friend.”

“You’re my new friend.” Emmy’s voice sounded small and shaky.

“I am your friend, but you also need a friend your age. I know you miss your old gang, but try to make one new friend here, too. I promise there are nice girls. I grew up here, after all, and I’m nice.” Steffi smiled and brushed some of Emmy’s curls off her face.

Ryan decided to enter the conversation now, before Emmy broke down in front of Steffi or put her in a more difficult situation. He exited through the kitchen door and crossed the partially framed porch to get to the yard. “Hey there, ladies.”

Emmy snapped her gaze at him, and he saw the panic in her eyes. His daughter’s fear of him speared his chest like a sword. He’d failed at his marriage, and his daughter was paying the highest price. He couldn’t fail her, too. He dropped to his knees and opened his arms. She flew into them in a heartbeat.

He hugged her and swayed, like he’d done when she was so much younger. Steffi quietly retrieved her toolbox and took it to her van.

“Emmy?” Ryan asked once they were alone. “I’m sorry this is such a hard time for you. I want to help you, but I don’t always have all the answers. I do know one thing, though. You can’t call people names and expect to make friends.”

She cried against his chest, each tear falling like acid raining on his heart. “Oh, sweetie, it’ll be okay. We all make mistakes. The important thing is to apologize and try to learn from it.”

“You always say that,” she muttered into his shirt.

“Because it’s the truest thing I know.” He kissed her head.

“So why can’t you and Mom apologize and make up?”

He hadn’t expected that question, although maybe he should have. “It’s not that simple.”

“You always say that, too.”

If a conversation with her took this much work at this age, he could barely imagine dealing with her in her teens. “You’re all dirty from helping Steffi. How ’bout you go inside and clean up before dinner? I need to talk to Steffi for a second. Then I’ll come in, and we can figure out how to apologize to Katie Winston.”

Emmy nodded while swiping her arm under her runny nose. “Okay.”

She wandered into the house just as Steffi came back from the van to get the rest of her personal things. He stood to speak with her. “I heard part of what you said to Emmy.”

“I know you don’t want me to speak for you, but I just—”

“It’s okay. Thank you for making her feel like she can confide in you. I should’ve listened to you the other day.” He crossed his arms and blew out a long breath. “I’m in over my head doing this on my own.”

“You’re not on your own. You’ve got your parents. But even if you were, I know you can do it. She loves you. She wants to make you happy and proud.”

He nodded, although he knew he was screwing it all up.

“Well, I’d better take off. Benny’s expecting me for another training run.”

“You guys are disciplined. I haven’t had a chance to get in a good workout in three months. Pretty soon I’m going to be too soft.” He patted his gut. Granted, he was still pretty fit. He could probably keep up with Steffi for a few miles, anyhow.

“I’m sure your mom would watch Emmy if you need to hit the gym or the mean streets of Sanctuary Sound.” She tipped her head, grinning. “My brother might even like some male company now and then. He gets sick of my singing.”

Ryan laughed. “Well, you were good at a lot of things, but singing wasn’t one of them.”

“You didn’t used to complain.” She hit his arm.

He grew quiet for a second, remembering the many times he’d listened to her terrible rendition of Lifehouse’s “You and Me” in the car or on the patio. “No, I never did mind those private concerts.”

The air between them turned sweet and thick with fond memories. Holding hands, soccer footwork challenges, the first time he’d copped a feel, and the light in her eyes when he had. The images almost made him want to take hold of her hand again; his heart beat with that hot desire like it had at seventeen.

“Dad!” Emmy called from the door, breaking the spell.

“You’d better go,” Steffi said with a wistful smile before she turned and walked back to her car.

He watched her go and waited … waited … Just before she got to her van, she peeked over her shoulder at him again, and everything seemed a little bit brighter.

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Unzipped by Lauren Blakely: Audiobook Release Blitz

Everything he knows about women is about to get turned upside down… 

Available exclusively in audio for the first six weeks - and narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt - comes a brilliantly funny, scorchingly sexy new romantic comedy from #1 New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely! UNZIPPED is now available! Grab your copy of this swoony and sexy Audible Original today!


Picture this - I'm ready to win back the love of my life, and I'm going big this time. We're talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There's only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune.

The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn't live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new "romance coach" and discover she's funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. And boy, do I ever need that.

Now I don't want to win anyone else's heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along.

Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.


✦Audible ➜ https://amzn.to/2wigo63
✦ iBooks ➜ https://blkly.pub/iUnzipped
✦ Kobo ➜ https://bit.ly/2OeFJFr
✦ Nook ➜ https://blkly.pub/Unzipped-Nook
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✦ Paperback ➜ https://amzn.to/2BYEUyk
✦ Amazon Kindle LIVE Alert ➜ https://blkly.pub/news

About Lauren Blakely:

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat,

heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He's Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she'll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Muffin Top (The Hartigans #2) by Avery Flynn: Release Blitz


The only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

But when some random guy suggests I might not be eating alone if I’d ordered a salad instead of a hamburger I’m shocked silent, which is a feat, trust me.

That brings us to one sexy fireman named Frankie Hartigan. He’s hot. He’s funny… And he’s just apologized for being late for our “date” then glared at the fat-shaming jerk. Next thing I know, he’s sitting down and ordering himself dinner.

I have no problem telling him I don’t need a pity date…unless of course it’s to my high school reunion next week. Oops where did that last bit come from? And what do I do now that he’s said yes?!

Because this is no make-over story, and I think Frankie is using me for something. I just have to figure out what…

Click to Buy The Hartigans Series on Amazon:


About the Author:

Award-winning romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

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I Bet You (The Hook Up #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills: Release Blitz


Sexy Athlete: I bet you…
Penelope Graham: Burn in hell, quarterback.

The late night text is random but Penelope knows exactly who “Sexy Athlete” is. And why she shouldn't take his wager.

Ryker Voss.
Football star.
Walks on water and God's gift to women.
Just ask him.

His bet? He promises Penelope he’ll win her the heart of the nerdy guy she’s been crushing on. His plan—good old-fashioned jealousy. Once her crush sees her kissing Ryker, he'll realize what he's missing. Sounds legit, right? The only question is…why is Ryker being so nice to her?

Penelope Graham.
Lover of sparkly vampires and calculus.
His mortal enemy.

Penelope knows she shouldn’t trust a jock, but what’s a girl to do when she needs a date to Homecoming? And Ryker’s keeping a secret, another bet, one that could destroy Penelope’s heart forever.

Will the quarterback score the good girl or will his secrets mean everyone loses this game of love?

Click to Buy on Amazon:


About the Author:

Ilsa Madden-Mills is a loving wife and mother, a loyal friend, and a teacher. When all that is done, she writes. Obsessively.

She spends her days with two small kids, a neurotic cat, and her Viking husband. She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels.

When she’s not typing away at a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash.

She loves to hear from from fans and fellow authors. Check her out on Facebook or her author website.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Loose Ends by Kristen Ashley: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Tying up…Loose Ends

In Kristen Ashley’s first anthology, readers will find three short stories and two novellas taking them back to characters and series in the Kristen Ashley universe.

No Clue, a short story – Visit with Joe and Vi from At Peace of The ’Burg series and learn how Joe breaks up a fight between his sons, what Ryker’s up to and why, exactly, his wife Violet has no clue.

The Stars Aligned, a novella – The long-awaited love story of Hap and Luci. Introduced in Heaven and Hell, readers learned, after a heartbreaking journey through grief, Luci was ready to take another chance at love. But Hap was adhering to “the code” between brothers, unwilling to betray his dead friend Travis by falling for Travis’s widow. Further, Hap can’t quite believe a beauty like Luci could fall for a normal guy like Hap. But for Luci and Hap the heart can’t be denied. Especially when the stars align.

The Favor, a short story – Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon of the Unfinished Heroes series go back to their favorite cabin at Glacier Lily, and there, Cassie asks her husband a favor. He’ll give her anything she wants. Including this.

More Than Everything, a novella – Readers left Diesel, Maddox and Molly at a crossroads at the end of The Greatest Risk of the Honey series. Maddox and Molly were all in with their commitment to their unconventional love triangle. But Diesel was letting the pressures and prejudice of family and society sink under his skin, making him hold himself distant from the man he loved. Can Maddox and Molly lead Diesel fully into their lives and give him more than everything?

Rock Chick Renewal, a short story – Tod has been planning Rock Chick weddings for years. He’s got a new one on his hands. And it’s not what he expected.

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Excerpt from The Stars Aligned:

“I’ve come to terms with Travis’s death, Pearl,” Luci told her.

Pearl didn’t believe a word she said and didn’t only express that with her face, but with words.

“So why, precisely, were you a million miles away when you had a beautiful shoe on your foot and a dozen boxes of the same surrounding you?” Pearl demanded.

“Because I’ve met someone else.”

Pearl’s chin lifted slightly, and she murmured, “I see.”

“But he won’t have me,” Luci went on.

Henry made a choking noise.

Pearl’s already magnified eyes behind her glasses took up her face.

“I beg your pardon?” she asked.

“He won’t have me,” Luci repeated.

Pearl leaned forward. “For goodness sakes, why?”

“He’s one of Travis’s dearest friends.”

Henry made a low noise of male understanding while Pearl’s wrinkles rearranged themselves into supreme annoyance.

She aimed her glare at Henry.

“So you approve of this nonsense?” she queried.

“Approve? No. Understand? Yes,” Henry answered.

“Then please,” Pearl threw out both hands, palms up, and spread them wide to indicate the table, “educate us.”

“That would be impossible for me to do without offending you both greatly,” Henry replied.

“Because we’re too dim to understand?” Pearl asked.

“Because it’s a piss around your property issue that a woman simply cannot comprehend, mostly because it’s ridiculously stupid,” Henry returned.

Pearl was mollified by this and shared it by reaching toward her Bellini and taking only a half-still-annoyed sip.

But Luci turned her attention to Henry.

“You think it’s ridiculously stupid?”

He nodded. “As a philosophy, yes. Logically, it makes no sense. Emotionally, if, to try to find a like comparison, I had not foolishly thrown away any chance I had to win the only woman I’ve ever loved, and we had wed and built a life together, and we found ourselves at that time where we discussed the tragic and hopefully very unlikely event that one of us should pass before the other, in the prime of our lives, or whenever, I would find it very difficult to say with any authenticity that I would be fine with the idea of another man with Josephine.”

“That’s preposterous,” Pearl snapped. “Not to mention selfish.”

“I said with any authenticity, Pearl,” Henry stated soothingly. “Of course I would want her to move on. I would want her to find happiness again. Of course. Logically. Because I love her and I would not want her ever to be unhappy. But would it make me happy in the slightest to think of her with another man? Not a chance. A nightmare, I’ll remind you, I’m living right now in another way, but I’m still living it. Make that man a friend? I’d be infuriated and feel betrayed just by the thought.”

“That’s preposterous and selfish too,” Pearl retorted.

“Nevertheless,” Henry said, catching the eyes of the waiter and lifting his chin before he tipped his head to his empty glass then flicked his hand to indicate he wanted the table to have another round, “it’s true.” He returned his attention to Pearl. “And I’m here because you like me. You like annoying me. You like beguiling me. You enjoy making me laugh and entertaining me. But you didn’t call two hours ago to invite me to dinner for any of that. Nor did you do it to set me up with Luciana. You did it so I could state the facts for my gender.”

“I also like looking at you,” Pearl huffed, and Henry grinned.

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Yvette's Review:

As a huge Kristen Ashley fan, Loose Ends is my idea of heaven. Not only do we get follow up stories with some favorite couples, but we get brand new short stories too! And each story and novella included in the anthology is just as sweet, just as heartwarming, and just as swoon-worthy as the one before. Kristen Ashley writes epic epilogues that can evoke just as much emotions as entire books so it’s not surprising that her novellas and short stories are equally impactful.


About No Clue

Who doesn’t sign and swoon when thinking of Joe Callahan? I was positively giddy at the prospect of getting an update from one of my all-time favorite KA heroes and No Clue is a short and sweet glimpse into Joe and Vi’s daily life. With a special appearance from a kid-friendly, though still scarily intimidation Ryker, who provides a bit of comic relief and made me wish that he’d get his own book following his harebrained, yet well-intentioned schemes. Seeing Joe and Vi blissfully happy and tackling each challenge they face with grace and love warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.

About The Stars Aligned

The Stars Aligned is one of the reasons I was dying to get my hands on Loose Ends. After reading Heaven and Hell, I hoped there would be a follow-up story featuring Hap and Luci, so getting a novella dedicated to these characters is especially exciting. In Heaven and Hell, it was obvious something was brewing between Hap and Luci and, in The Stars Aligned, their budding attraction is confronted head-on. While the stubborn, former soldier is warring with his feelings for Luci and his loyalty to his deceased brother-in-arms, the fiery, passionate Italian widow is willing to fight for who and what she wants.

Despite its shorter length, this novella is such an intense, profound, well-rounded story, packing so much feeling and emotion within its pages. It’s wistful, romantic, heartbreakingly beautiful, and full of love and longing. It’ll tug on your heartstrings, put a blush on your cheeks, and leave you feeling grateful for the time spent with this couple.

About The Favor

As my favorite of all of the anti-heroes, I was particularly excited to get up an update on Deacon. Knowing what he endured to get his happy ending makes it all the more meaningful to get a glimpse of Deacon and Cassidy’s slice of paradise. With his two little girls and a wife he loves more than anything in the world, Deacon is perfectly content. This short story follows an adorable interaction between Deacon and his daughters, then a scorching hot romantic encounter with his wife. The Favor is brief but satisfying and I loved every second of it.

About More Than Everything

After meeting Diesel, Maddox, and Molly in The Greatest Risk, I knew we’d be seeing more of these characters at some point. The fact that Kristen Ashley had yet to tackle a mĂ©nage romance had me curious to see how a more unconventional relationship would unfold. So what do you need to know about More Than Everything? It’s S.T.E.A.M.Y. With a capital everything. Which, if you’ve read the Honey Series, is pretty much par for the course.

While Maddox and Diesel are planning for their future with Molly, Diesel’s fears about what his close-minded family would think about who he loves and how he chooses to live his life is impacting them from moving forward. Recognizing Diesel’s inner turmoil, Molly and Maddox set out to prove he’s worthy of their love. With twice the uber Alpha male hotness, and a number of jaw-droppingly steamy love scenes, More Than Everything is a relentlessly erotic, angst-filled novella about love and acceptance. The ending is picture perfect, with an appearance from a certain Chaos character that’ll have fans excited for the author’s next MC romance.

About Tell Me What You Want

A short story about a matchmaking fairy who brings two unsuspecting attendees together at a Spice Girls concert? Yes, please! Tell Me What You Want was a completely unexpected, completely wonderful tale featuring a heart-meltingly sweet meet cute at the unlikeliest of places. This story could’ve been four-hundred pages and I would’ve happily devoured every sentence. Here’s hoping that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Maurelle, the matchmaking fairy.

About Rock Chick Renewal

I’ll bet you there’s not one person who read the Rock Chick Series who didn’t fall head over heels in love with Tod. Indie’s fierce and fabulous neighbor who brought drama and flair to the estrogen-filled Rock Chick group is one of Kristen Ashley’s most memorable characters so, naturally, I was thrilled for him to finally get his own story. The man who revels in planning the weddings of his closest gal pals gets a perfectly lovely surprise that’ll have you oohing and aahing, and sniffling a time or two. Rock Chick Renewal is a nostalgic, delightfully fun story with whole appearances from several familiar faces. Mostly, it made me want to re-read the entire Rock Chick Series for the umpteenth time.


Seeing these stories grouped together as part of the Loose Ends anthology only emphasizes Kristen Ashley’s ability to seamlessly adopt the unique tone of each character with her distinctive writing style. Each featured short story is a feel-good, abbreviated visit with beloved characters, while the novellas are in-depth explorations of characters we’ve only briefly gotten to know in previous books. Kristen Ashley mentioned the possibility of writing more short stories and novellas in the future and I fervently hope this will be the case.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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